ImmenStar intros GPON/EPON switch chipset

July 10, 2006 Santa Clara, CA -- ImmenStar today introduced what it claims is the world's first dual mode GPON/EPON chipset, dubbed Turandot. According to ImmenStar representatives, Turandot will offer system developers significant time and cost savings by permitting unified design and development processes across both EPON and GPON implementations--while exploiting the full benefits of the vendor's switching technology, programmable traffic engineering, and highly integrated software.

Jul 10th, 2006

July 10, 2006 Santa Clara, CA -- ImmenStar today introduced what it claims is the world's first dual mode GPON/EPON chipset, dubbed Turandot. According to ImmenStar representatives, Turandot will offer system developers significant time and cost savings by permitting unified design and development processes across both EPON and GPON implementations--while exploiting the full benefits of the vendor's switching technology, programmable traffic engineering, and highly integrated software.

"Using the same basic hardware and software API [application programming interface] will dramatically reduce system vendors' development time and cost for both markets," notes John Wuu, president and CEO of ImmenStar. "The Turandot G/EPON switch chip set will also allow system vendors to migrate their deployed EPON system to new GPON deployment in far shorter timescales if their carrier customers plan to migrate or use both technologies eventually."

The economies offered by ImmenStar's chipset could prove highly significant. As Tam Dell'Oro, founder of the Dell'Oro Group, stated at the NetEvents European Press summit in the fall of 2005, "PON has been mostly a Japan and Far East market, but we expect that to pick up now in North America. Until now, I've argued that fiber is like selling a Porsche while copper is like selling a Honda; what is the bulk of the population going to buy?" he mused. "If the cost of a Porsche can drop sufficiently, then a whole different picture emerges. Remember what Intel did back in the late 1990's when they pushed the Ethernet market to 100 Mbits/sec by pricing 100-Mbit/sec NICs about the same as 10 Mbits/sec, and when Alcatel spearheaded the DSL market by pricing DSLAMs very close to dial modem concentrators?"

Moreover, the dual mode of the Turandot chipset provides an insurance policy for those who have been waiting to see how EPON and GPON square up before committing themselves.

There is still considerable debate on the relative merits of EPON and GPON deployment, with EPON being favored for its simplicity, efficient handling of IP traffic, and lower deployment and management costs versus the greater bandwidth and legacy TDM support of GPON. Soaring demand for triple-play voice, video, and data services to the home and office--with fiber access showing potential growth to $1.9 billion by 2009-- adds further fuel to this debate, says Wuu.

"The industry need no longer be held back by uncertainty about which way to go," he says. "By delivering a unified approach to both GPON and EPON systems, ImmenStar's Turandot chipset allows carrier customers to go straight for the full benefits of our high QoS [quality-of-service] capabilities, protection switching, and high-channel IPTV broadcast capabilities while keeping their options open on their eventual commitment to GPON".

The Turandot G/EPON chipset is the newest addition to ImmenStar's PON switch chipset family operating under the ImmenStar iROS Operating System, which provides distributed and scalable management and control of the entire chipset. Of the four members of the existing MuLan EPON Switch Chipset, IS8020 is the industry's first Quad EPON optical line terminal (OLT) chip integrating four optical EPON ports and four Gigabit Ethernet ports into a single chip with non-blocking traffic forwarding, say ImmenStar representatives. The second OLT chip is IS8030 with a single optical EPON port and identical features at a reduced cost. The low-cost IS8010 EPON optical network unit (ONU) chip implements ONU functions for customer premise equipment (CPE). The IS8015 is an enhanced version of IS8010, providing multi-vendor interoperability support.

Underlining ImmenStar's commitment to end-system integration is its MuLan SDK System Development Kit evaluation platform. This platform provides system developers with an evaluation system to accelerate the system design using the chipset and reduce development cycle time and effort.

Together, the Turandot G/EPON and MuLan EPON Switch Chipsets provide a carrier-class Ethernet ultra broadband access solution for network operators and service providers, say company representatives. The cost saving and simplicity of these dual mode system-on-a-chip devices will accelerate next-generation PON system development cycle while extending product lifetime by increasing system capabilities and allowing greater flexibility in GPON/EPON commitment.

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