Agere Systems Announces Platform for Wireless Equipment that can Shave More Than $25 Million in Software Costs
Platform Approximately 24 Times More Reliable Than Competing Platforms
ALLENTOWN, Pa.- November 14,2002 -- Agere Systems (NYSE: AGR.A, AGR.B) today announced the wireless infrastructure equipment industry's most comprehensive hardware and software platform that opens doors to revolutionary improvements in reliability, economics, and speed of delivery of faster and more feature-rich wireless communications for the next several years.
Compared with a leading competing platform for wireless infrastructure equipment applications, Agere estimates that the company's new platform can shave software-related product costs by $25 million, offer 24 times more software-related product reliability, and accelerate product development times by more than a year. These results are based on the number of lines of software code that need to be written for a typical wireless infrastructure application*.
Using Agere's PayloadPlus® network processor technology, which is part of the new platform, a complete wireless base station network interface card application was implemented with only 1550 lines of software code. Using a typical competing platform, such an application would likely require more than 37,000 lines of code--24 times more than Agere's platform. With so few lines of code to write and maintain, Agere dramatically increases reliability and reduces costs of wireless systems.
Called Festino™ Wireless, Agere's platform consists of a new suite of comprehensive application-enabling software, a complete portfolio of integrated, system-level semiconductor solutions, and an end-to-end system development platform. The solution also is enhanced by Agere's unique, high-level, flexible, and easy-to-use programming languages.
"Agere's innovative new platform indicates how remarkably cost-sensitive the telecommunications industry has become, as well as how innovative companies are being to boost product reliability and generate new services and revenues," said Alan Nogee, senior analyst of wireless component technologies with In-Stat/MDR, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based market research firm. "Festino Wireless marks a major turning point for the industry in delivering lower cost technology that bolsters my confidence that this telecommunications industry downturn has not quelled fresh innovation. Customers who buy this solution from Agere are obtaining an inexpensive and versatile insurance policy to cover their hardware and software equipment needs for the next five-to-ten years."
The wireless infrastructure market amounted to approximately $17 billion in 2002. The market for wireless infrastructure equipment offering multi-service applications is expected to grow at a 17 percent annual rate through 2006, according to Allied Business Intelligence, a market research firm.
"Wireless equipment manufacturers are taking big risks when they deploy their systems with complicated and expensive technologies," said Chuck Tato, marketing director with Agere Systems. "Software is often a reason why wireless network equipment is out of service. That downtime could cost a wireless service provider a million dollars or more--each day - and they could lose several customers. Agere's new platform enables a wireless service provider to avoid such challenging situations because the platform makes equipment much more reliable."
"Writing fewer lines of code is like taking fewer pieces of luggage on a trip: It means there is less luggage to lose, damage, check through security, worry about, and pay for," added Tato. "Writing fewer lines of code means there are fewer to get wrong, debug, fix, keep track of, and pay for. It directly affects reliability and therefore saves in a big way."
Festino Wireless is one example of Agere's targeted applications solution using the company's Festino hardware and software development system. Festino can be combined with chips, such as network processors, switching chips, and aggregation chips, to quickly build a complete prototype system well before customer's system hardware is available. This slashes equipment manufacturers' product development intervals and boosts reliability.
Festino Wireless builds on Agere's portfolio of end-to-end, system-level semiconductor solutions, highly efficient network processor programming languages, application-oriented device application programming interfaces, device-independent functional programming interfaces, and the flexible Festino platform.
Agere's new platform squarely addresses a widespread communications equipment industry trend in which, to reduce costs, equipment manufacturers are collapsing and consolidating many different platforms typically used in many different types of equipment into a much smaller number of platforms - in some cases just one. The purpose is to use those platforms in many different types of equipment and applications, such as wireless and digital subscriber line data services.
It costs such manufacturers much less to do business this new way because they can write one set of software reusable across systems in the platform, instead of different software for each system in the platform. The latter approach increases manufacturers' product development expenses, slows product deliveries, and decreases equipment reliability.
Festino Wireless offers the right amount of flexibility to meet customers' short- and long-term multi-service needs for line card circuit boards housed in equipment located at Node B, Hub Node B, radio network controller (RNC), and media gateways in a wireless network. Agere offers its customers application software libraries that equipment providers would otherwise have to write themselves. Customers can use Agere's software as is, eliminating reliability issues that usually arise with modifications of software.
Festino Wireless enables reuse of the same software for all target applications. Competing solutions require new software to be written for each of the three applications - a more costly, more time consuming, and less flexible and reliable process. Using Festino Wireless is like using the same engine and operating system in many different types of cars rather than having to build new hardware and software to create different engines and associated software for the different cars.
Manufacturers can buy all the chips they need for their line cards from Agere, which increases the chances of higher system reliability and performance, at lower total costs. Festino Wireless chips include Agere's PayloadPlus family of network processors; the single chip PI-40SAX (Stand-Alone Switch) - the world's fastest switching chip**; the PI-40X, PI-40C family of chips; the Ultramapper family of aggregation chips; the MARS™ (Multiple Application and Rate Solutions) family of framer chips; and the Voice Packet Processor. With more time and money to focus on other aspects of delivering their products to market, equipment manufacturers can develop differentiating features to their existing products, as well as invest more time in selling and marketing.
Agere's Festino Wireless solution is offered at a wide range of prices depending on the various types of hardware, software, and design combinations customers purchase.
For more product information, customers may call the Agere Systems Customer Response Center, 1-800-372-2447, Dept. A67 (in Canada, 1-800-553-2448, Dept. A67, fax number 1-610-712-4106, especially for callers outside of North America) or write to Agere Systems, Room 10A-301C, 1110 American Parkway NE, Lehigh Valley Central Campus, Allentown, Pa. 18109. Customers may also go to the following web site: www.agere.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Agere Systems is a premier provider of advanced integrated circuit solutions that access, move and store network information. Agere's access portfolio enables seamless network access and Internet connectivity through its industry-leading WiFi/802.11 solutions for wireless LANs and computing applications, as well as its GPRS offering for data-capable cellular phones. The company also provides custom and standard multi-service networking solutions, such as broadband Ethernet-over-SONET/SDH components and wireless infrastructure chips, to move information across metro, access and enterprise networks. Agere is the market leader in providing integrated circuits such as read-channel chips, preamplifiers and system-on-a-chip solutions for high-density storage applications. Agere's customers include the leading PC manufacturers, wireless terminal providers, network equipment suppliers and hard-disk drive providers. More information about Agere Systems is available from its Web site at www.agere.com.
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