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Scottsdale, Ariz. — Although relatively young, the Merchant Switch Fabric (MSF) market has enormous growth potential, according to In-Stat/MDR.
The high-tech market research firm reports that, even though MSF vendors have suffered at least as much as other semiconductor makers over the past year, the market is entering a period when the following forces should result in healthy growth for the next five years:
- Many OEMs have experienced massive reductions in their R&D budgets and are now reconsidering the idea of using an MSF.
- Fabrics continue to expand their number of target markets — including the healthy SAN and wireless infrastructure markets.
- The standardized aTCA chassis will help MSF vendors to truly reduce the ever-critical "Time-to-Market" metric for customers by pre-engineering many details of how to specifically use their solution in a specific, but widely available chassis.
- Standardized back planes that are gaining momentum from the RapidIO Trade Associate (RTA) and Arapahoe Working Group will provide an additional level of comfort for those OEMs that transition from their own, home-brewed fabric to one commercially available.
In-Stat/MDR believes that the most successful MSF vendors will not only have fabrics with good technical merits, but also present their customers with a holistic solution in which the fabric is blended seamlessly with the other high-intelligence networking silicon devices and has been "pre-engineered" with at least one standardized chassis. Asinfrastructure equipment continues to get more complicated, the individual aspects of chips become less important when compared to the completeness of the whole solution.