ALLENTOWN, Pa.- February 3, 2003 - Agere Systems (NYSE: AGR.A, AGR.B) and Accelerant Networks, the leading developer of backplane communication solutions, today announced a multi-faceted alliance to offer customers the industry's first and only field-proven 6.25 gigabits per second (Gb/s) backplane transceiver technology for standard and custom integrated circuits (ICs).
Through this alliance, Agere, the No. 2 provider of application specific ICs (ASICs), licenses Accelerant's 6.25 Gb/s backplane transceiver core and becomes Accelerant's exclusive ASIC partner. Agere will provide the industry's first 6.25 Gb/s backplane transceiver serializer/deserializer (SerDes) macrocell for integration with Agere's broad portfolio of communications intellectual property in Agere's 130 nanometer ASICs and systems-on-chip (SoCs). This agreement provides the foundation for Agere to become the sales representative for Accelerant products in Europe and Asia, excluding Japan, and for Agere to provide a pin-compatible second source product for the Accelerant 6.25 Gb/s application specific standard product (ASSP).
A SerDes device performs input and output functions that increase and decrease the transmission speed and reception of voice, data, and video signals through copper and fiber optic cables. SerDes devices are used widely in many types of data communications and telecommunications equipment.
"As the established technology leader for 6.25 Gb/s technology, Accelerant significantly enhances AgereÆs ASIC and SoC capabilities for high-speed interconnects," said Necip Sayiner, vice president of Agere's Networking IC business. "Accelerant is currently supplying networking equipment providers standard product backplane transceivers to extend the life and double the performance of their existing backplanes. Agere's customers can reduce costs by increasing the density and broadening the application of these solutions by integrating the 6.25 Gb/s SerDes capability into an ASIC. By integrating this SerDes capability with Agere's broad portfolio of communications intellectual property and our world-class design capabilities, we expect to provide our customers the highest level of performance at the lowest cost per service."
With the addition of the Accelerant 6.25 Gb/s SerDes technology, Agere will provide complete SerDes solutions for speeds of 622 megabits per second (Mb/s) to 10 Gb/s that have higher signal integrity and consume less power than other solutions on the market. Target applications for this technology include Ethernet switches, metro/access networks, and storage and server networks.
"This alliance underscores the two companies' commitment to develop innovative and flexible products that provide real solutions, combining the best attributes of discrete components and ASICs," said Paul Nahi, president and CEO of Accelerant Networks. "This enables us to rapidly deploy Accelerant's transceiver technology into products to help reduce cost and time-to-market for customers, while providing customers a second supply source. Agere's decision to license Accelerant's WILDPHYR® technology further demonstrates growing industry acceptance of a technology that has already resulted in several high-volume customer engagements. This alliance moves us closer to our goal of establishing a de facto standard based on field-proven results."
Boosting bandwidth in existing backplanes
A backplane is an interconnecting device where circuit boards plug into sockets to enable transmission of data through a network. Today's generally available backplane interconnect technology only permits the transmission of signals at a speed of 3 Gb/s. The Accelerant 6.25 Gb/s transceiver boosts the bandwidth of backplanes by integrating an unprecedented combination of adaptive equalization and multi-level signaling, optimized for performance, ease-of-design, and reliability in new and existing networking equipment.
The scalable architecture currently operating from 1 to 6.25 Gb/s is backward compatible with legacy SerDes and enables next-generation transceivers operating up to 12.5 Gb/s. Accelerant Networks' WILDPHYR® technology relieves the bottleneck problem in backplanes, opening up more options for developers of networking equipment. In a service provider's central office or in an enterprise environment, the total speed of the network is limited by the speed of the interconnecting circuit boards. By doubling the transmission speed with Accelerant's 6.25 Gb/s SerDes technology, Agere can double the performance of existing networking equipment without expensive backplane hardware upgrades.
Accelerant's 6.25 Gb/s backplane transceiver ASSPs are available immediately and the SerDes macrocell will be available for integration for Agere's customers later this quarter.
About Accelerant Networks
Accelerant Networks is a fables semiconductor company developing high-speed transceivers for serial backplane communications for the networking, storage and server markets. The company is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, with sales and application offices in Silicon Valley and Boston as well as a nationwide network of sales representatives. For more information, contact Kelli Caldwell at 503.439.3450, or visit www.accelerant.net.
About Agere Systems
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.
This release contains forward-looking statements based on information available to Agere as of the date hereof. Agere's actual results could differ materially from the results stated or implied by such forward-looking statements due to a number of risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, keeping pace with technological change, dependence on new product development, price and product competition, availability of manufacturing capacity, customer demand for our products and services, general industry and market conditions, timely completion of employment reductions and other restructuring and consolidation activities, limits on our ability to issue equity to raise capital and reliance on major customers and suppliers. For a further discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, see our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2002. Agere disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.