Commenting on the move Nomura Research's Stuart Jeffry, said: "Alcatel-Lucent has captured a 24 percent share of the edge router market over the past 10 years. If the company can launch a compelling solution and leverage its customer relationships then it may see faster share gains in the core routing market. Our analysis shows that a 10 percent core routing share would drive a six percent increase in our operating income forecast for 2014 (all else being equal) and a 20 percent share 14 percent upside to estimates."
The move into core routing was widely anticipated when Alcatel-Lucent last June announced a new 400Gbps chipset, the FP3, saying it would be used to boost edge router performance. The company said then that the new processor would be commercially available in mid 2012, initially in a range of new line cards for its 7750 SR series edge routers: 2 port - 100GE, 6 port - 40GE and 20 port 10GE cards.
Alcatel-Lucent said at the time: "The FP3 processor is designed to address tomorrow's demand for ultra-high performance public and private IP networks. For example, a single FP3 processor could handle 70,000 simultaneous high definition video streams or 8.4 million simultaneous retail cloud sessions."
Announcement of the FP3 immediately fuelled speculation that it would be used to build a core router. Interviewed at the FP3 launch by Light Reading, Basil Alwan, president of Alcatel-Lucent's IP Division, was asked: "Can we call you a core router company now?"
He replied: "You have asked me that many times...From a silicon point of view the FP3 has intercepted core silicon in performance...So we now have what is required to build core routers...However, core routing needs a few more pieces: multi chassis and those sort of things, and we are not announcing any of that today."
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