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Broadcom Barrels Into 4-Gig

Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) is trying to muscle its way into a crowded 4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel switch field.

The company announced chips for 4-gig front-end and back-end embedded Fibre Channel switches, and it says it's ready to ship.

Availability doesn't guarantee, however, that Broadcom will gain any design wins. The real race begins when everybody else is there,” says Greg Schultz of Evaluator Group.

Everybody else means the drive, systems, HBA, switch, component, and testing vendors. and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) and Seagate Technology Inc. (NYSE: STX)will probably ship the first 4-gig disk drives later this year (see 4-Gig for Show).

Broadcom is competing in two segments. Its back-end embedded switches will bump heads with Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX), QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC), Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A), and PMC-Sierra Inc. (Nasdaq: PMCS) -- all of which will also be aiming to work OEM deals with storage system, disk, and blade vendors.

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