Network Processor Business Analysis – The Linley Group

The linley group are the defacto source for critical business analysis of the network processor market. Their detailed reports are expensive ($2,500 approx) but extensive.
Thier report for 2003 reported that the network-processor market grew about 30% in 2003 to a record $85 million. During 2003, market leader AMCC saw its NPU business recover to a level not seen since 2001. Maintaining its nearly 40% share of the NPU market, AMCC contributed the most absolute dollars to the market’s growth.
For its part, Intel nearly doubled its NPU revenue and increased its share to 16%. The IXP1200 represented the lion’s share of Intel’s shipments, but the IXP2400 began to contribute in 2003. Note that their estimates exclude the IXP4xx line, which they classify as a communications processor due to its lower performance.
Despite ceasing future product development in early 2003, IBM’s NPU revenue remained almost flat on the strength of existing design wins. This bodes well for Hifn as it tries to revive the PowerNP product line it acquired from IBM at the end of 2003.
The biggest disappointment was Motorola’s poor performance. The company managed only flat revenue in a growing market despite having two new products, the C-3e and C-5e, enter production in 1H03. By comparison, Vitesse increased its share using a product with no roadmap, thanks to its Tier One design wins.
The Linley Group

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