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The Reincarnation of the Network Processor Market
- ID: 236516
- December 2003
- 69 pages
The NPU market has gone through some fairly radical changes. What started as a tiny market, swirling with hype and built around a dozen start-ups with revolutionary technologies, has now become a sizable market being driven by established chipmakers that are relying on time-tested principles for success. Key among the proven concepts is that, in order for high-intelligence devices to thrive, there must be a complete ecosystem in place. Companies, like Intel and Motorola, are taking lessons learned from other processors and applying them to NPUs. For some companies, like Vitesse and IBM, the effort of creating an ecosystem has proven to be more hassle than it was worth, so they have exited the market.
So, while the roster and attitude of NPU makers has changed a lot in a short period of time, what remains is the underlying principle that NPUs can serve as a flexible foundation for a wide spectrum of different applications. This year, weve examined 25 different markets to determine the path that NPUs are most likely to take. While 2003 is expected to finish up around $60 million, there is still a strong potential behind remaining NPU makers, and this market is expected to outpace most other silicon markets for the next 5 years.