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Galazar Puts SANs in the Frame

In a testament to the growing importance of SANs in metro services, semiconductor vendor Galazar Networks Inc. has announced a framer chip that maps SAN protocols to Sonet/SDH networks (see Galazar Intros SAN over Sonet Mapper).

Framer chips enable devices to run a range of protocols that weren't originally developed for Sonet/SDH, via techniques such as Generic Framing Procedure (GFP) and Virtual Concatenation (VCAT). Galazar, founded in 2001, has been active in the Ethernet framing market and now sees what execs call a solid opportunity in SANs (see Galazar Networks Opens With $11.2M and Making Sonet Storage-Friendly).

"SAN is a high-value service, and carriers want to capitalize on Sonet architectures," say Matthew Coakeley, director of applications at Galazar. "The indications we have are that demand is modest but very firm."

Galazar's new chip, the MDX251, isn't yet shipping or even sampling. But execs say prototypes are set for alpha testing next quarter. Today's announcement reflects the vendor's eagerness to get on a bandwagon that's already holding at least two of Galazar's major competitors -- Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC) (Nasdaq: AMCC) and Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: CY).

Galazar, which has garnered more than $20 million in venture funding to date and boasted the recent addition of former JDS Uniphase Corp. (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) CEO Jozef Straus to its board, claims it's cheaper than some competitive solutions (see Galazar Gets Big Names on Board). Its new chip will be priced at about $200 and down per increment of 5,000, execs say. The vendor also boasts that its mapper supports sub-rate DS3/DS1 links, in addition to broader Sonet/SDH connections.

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