Linley Group: Broadband and Gigabit Ethernet chips drive networking silicon market

MAY 24, 2007 -- Sales of networking silicon increased 15% in 2006 according to the latest market share numbers released by The Linley Group.

MAY 24, 2007 -- Sales of networking silicon increased 15% in 2006 according to the latest market share numbers released by The Linley Group (search for The Linley Group). Network processors, broadband ICs, and semiconductors for Gigabit Ethernet switches were among the fastest growing product markets.

In network processors, Intel had a wave of design wins enter production, which catapulted the company to the top of the rankings ahead of long-time leader AMCC. Agere and Wintegra both grew substantially, as did 10-Gbit/sec NPU suppliers Bay Microsystems and EZchip. In broadband, DSL IC sales recovered, and Broadcom grew more than 70% to nearly overtake top-ranked Conexant. PON IC sales grew, but at a disappointing 20% rate as the pioneering Japanese market cooled and expansion into other geographies was limited. Switching drove Gigabit Ethernet revenue growth as enterprises improved their LAN infrastructure to take advantage of the growing base of PCs bundled with GbE connections. Broadcom was the leading supplier in this hot area, which, along with DSL, helped the company grow at twice the rate of the entire industry and become bigger than its next three largest competitors combined.

Details are available in "Networking Silicon Market Share 2006," a report released today by The Linley Group, a provider of independent analysis of the networking-silicon industry. It provides market-share information for more than 15 categories of wired communications products, including network processors, Gigabit Ethernet components, broadband transceivers, interconnect chips, encryption accelerators, and other networking ASSPs.

The report also contains market share for 10GbE NICs, high-speed embedded microprocessors, and processors for cellular handsets. Startup Neterion extended its lead in the 10GbE NIC market, while Intel maintained its second-place ranking despite losing share because of its outdated offering. Among the top-ranked embedded CPU suppliers, AMCC was the fastest growing but trailed Intel, IBM, and Freescale.

The report is available now directly from The Linley Group.

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