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3Com Unveils Speedy Ethernet

Two days after being pegged as darlings by analysts, 3Com Corp. Thursday stormed the Gigabit Ethernet over copper market with high-performance server network connections.

The network equipment maker claims the high bandwidth connectivity products will increase network performance -- by as much as 100 times -- using inexpensive CAT 5 copper wiring.

Gigabit Ethernet Server NICs were made to draw more rapid server response times and Internet connections. At Gigabit-per-second speed, these new network connections provide the fastest possible Ethernet LAN link for servers.

Market researchers at Cahners In-Stat Group project that the Gigabit Ethernet market will grow from 1.8 million ports in 1999 to 18 million ports in 2002.

3Com's EtherLink Server 10/100/1000 PCI (3C995-T) network interface cards will be available for a suggested retail price of $399 each. For customers who prefer a fiber connection to their servers, the 3Com EtherLink Server 1000 PCI Fiber (3C995-SX) network interface cards will also be available for a suggested retail price of $795 each. The connections support most operating systems, including Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Novell Netware, and Linux.

With Thursday's move, 3Com is looking to stay ahead of the curve despite the looming threat of component shortages that has been announced frequently.

But greater news for 3Com came in the form of its first quarter earnings results, which quickly caught investors' eyes Tuesday.

3Com, whose specialties include wireless and voice over Internet protocol, reported a fiscal first-quarter operating loss that was far narrower than analyst expectations, sending shares 15 percent higher in after-hours trading. The firm lost only 12 cents a share, drastically lower than the estimated 33 cents per share investors felt they were destined for.

The real surprise, perhaps, is that most people thought the firm would suffer from its spin off of Palm Inc. But that never happened. Instead, analysts feel the firm could see profitability as soon as the fourth quarter, which should be a relief for the firm that many felt erred by buying U.S. Robotics years ago.



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