If you have followed the semiconductor market for a while, you may have run across the strange story of EZchip (EZCH). EZCH is seemingly the most (and maybe only) successful survivor out of the multiple network processor (NPU) start-ups funded in the original dot com bubble. At the time, the story was that the explosion in Internet infrastructure investment would provide the capital expenditure dollars to feed a whole new crop of networking equipment companies. The network processor vendors were supposed to enable these upstarts to compete with the formidable internal ASIC design prowess of Cisco (CSCO) and Juniper (JNPR) et al. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to Internet infrastructure...
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