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Executives at the Lisle, Ill., company said strong demand for new products in the automotive, communications, and fiber-optic markets propelled sales to $567.6 million, a 33.2% increase over the previous year's $426.2 million. Earnings for the quarter climbed to $57.8 million, or 29 cents per share, which is 28.5% higher than the prior year's $45 million, or 23 cents per share.

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Executives at the Lisle, Ill., company said strong demand for new products in the automotive, communications, and fiber-optic markets propelled sales to $567.6 million, a 33.2% increase over the previous year's $426.2 million. Earnings for the quarter climbed to $57.8 million, or 29 cents per share, which is 28.5% higher than the prior year's $45 million, or 23 cents per share.

The new Chess (Channelizer Engine for SONET/SDH) chipset supports a variety of network protocols-including ATM, Internet Protocol (IP), SONET/SDH, and others-in a single multiservice switch, router, or related system.

Designed to aggregate and manage network traffic running at transmission speeds up to OC-48, the Chess chipset is said to deliver a total throughput of more than 160 Gbits/s.

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The chipset is also aimed at attacking the trouble spot on the WAN-the metropolitan-area network (MAN), according to Steve Perna, vice president and general manager of the Transmission Switching Division at PMC-Sierra, Burnaby, British Columbia.

In the MAN, as in the WAN, carriers are also rapidly moving from OC-3 to OC-48 networks,” Perna said. What we've done is develop a chipset that addresses [the bandwidth bottlenecks] in the MAN.”

The company is also developing products to address long-haul WAN applications, where carriers are migrating from OC-48 to OC-192. In this space, we'll make an announcement in the near future,” Perna said.

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The Chess chipset was developed in order to design a single multiservice switch for the MAN, which, in theory, could replace a multitude of systems on the edge of the network, he added.

The chipset enables a system to take data from a network and then channelize, aggregate, and transform the traffic into a wide range of services at different speeds.

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Chess consists of the Spectra-2488 and Spectra-4 X 155 framers; the S/UNI-MACH48 mapper; an STS-1 cross-connect chip, dubbed TSE; and the TBS backplane serializer. Using the Spectra family of framers enables network traffic to be channelized at smaller bandwidth increments, while the S/UNI MACH48 chips provide ATM and SONET mapping functions.

Another key chip is the TSE STS-1 cross-connect device, which provides a nonblocking, single-stage switch fabric. Supporting a number of line rates, the device delivers an aggregate bandwidth of up to 40 Gbits/s. Up to four TSEs can be cascaded for a total throughput of 160 Gbits/s.

Paul Otellini, general manager of the Intel Architecture Business Group, noted that the company considered slowing that conversion process, which ties up the manufacturing line that is being converted, to allow Intel to gain back some short-term manufacturing capacity. While Otellini said Intel continues to revisit the decision about the fast-ramp plan,” he said Intel still intends to continue with the 0.18-micron transition to maximize long-term capacity. The conversion should be almost complete by the end of the year.

Still, sales of Intel motherboards and chipsets were down during the first quarter, and microprocessor shipments remained flat. Rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif., recorded a slight increase of about half a million microprocessors from the fourth to the first quarter, anecdotal evidence that Intel may have lost share in the market, according to observers.

Otellini said that the rising tide has lifted both our boats,” an indication that both AMD and Intel are benefiting from overall demand. However, AMD executives during an earnings conference call with analysts last week said that the company is experiencing no supply issues and predicted that AMD's Fab 30 in Dresden would help the company double unit shipments on a quarterly basis during the majority of 2000.

Sales of Ethernet controllers, microcontrollers, and telephony boards, meanwhile, were flat, Intel said, compared with the fourth quarter. I/O processors and flash units increased during the first quarter, with flash sales setting a new record. Switch sales, however, declined.

In other areas, Intel's Online Services division built a data center in Chantilly, Va., during the quarter, and the company plans to build three more worldwide centers during the quarter and a total of 10 by the end of the year, executives said.

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