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XFP No Longer a BFD

LOS ANGELES -- OFC 2004 -- At OFC last year, component and module vendors spoke of a "fast track" for the XFP multisource agreement (MSA) for 10-Gbit/s links (see, duh, XFP Gets the Fast Track). But this year, the fast ramp leveled off.

The difference is Fibre Channel's newfound 4-Gbit/s generation. Most of the vendors hearing buzz for XFP were talking to storage networking customers who were anticipating the leap to 10-Gbit/s. Then, out of nowhere like Keisha Castle-Hughes's Oscar nomination, the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) voted to extend 4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel to storage area networks (see FC Fires Up 4-Gig Fiesta).

Suddenly, those 10-Gbit/s plans aren't so urgent. "Even the staunch supporters of 10-Gbit/s [for storage networking] have pushed it out," says Robin Crandall, senior vice president of sales for E2O Communications Inc.

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