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IP to displace ATM, says Nortel VP

Real men will use routers; ATM just for WAN cores

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Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is (almost) dead, long live IP routing, was the (almost) inspiring rallying cry of Nortel technology VP Daniel Pitt's speech at Internet conference iBand yesterday. Pitt's premise is this: next year packet routing will reach the speed of optical networking systems sometime next year. The driving force will be the need to connect small bandwidth packet routers to the high speed (10Gbps and up) optics that are being increasingly used to build WAN cores. That will allow routers to be connected directly to dense wave-division multiplexing (DWDM) systems, said Pitt. "At [that] point we can can move these things forward together," he added. This will allow ATM and Synchronous Optical Network (SONet) layers to be dispensed with. ATM is now essentially a legacy technology, said Pitt, though he accepted it has a wide userbase. ®

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