Marvell Announces Broad Industry Support for its Virtual Cable Tester Technology

8/15/2002 - Marvell® announced broad industry support for its Virtual Cable TesterTM (VCT) technology, which is incorporated as a standard feature in the Company's industry-leading Alaska® family of Gigabit Ethernet over copper transceivers, as well as the latest generation of Fast Ethernet PHYs. The Marvell revolutionary VCT diagnostic capability integrates the functionality of a several thousand-dollar cable meter system frequently employed by IT professionals.

The Marvell VCT cable diagnostic technology allows end-users and IT managers to quickly and remotely analyze the quality and attributes of the attached cable plant, helping pinpoint the cause of network cable malfunctions without deploying field support personnel or bringing down the network. This allows for a significant reduction in installation time, cable debug efforts and overall network support cost.

With the Marvell VCT technology, each network system port can independently detect and report cabling issues without the need to unplug cables, connect cable testers and install loop-back modules at the far end -- all of which are necessary when using traditional cable meters. Furthermore, the VCT technology is incorporated into the latest generation Fast Ethernet PHYs, enabling existing Fast Ethernet networks to benefit from the same revolutionary technology.

Standard CAT 5 cable contains four twisted-pair lines (or eight conductors). With a Fast Ethernet connection, only two twisted-pairs are employed, whereas Gigabit requires all four twisted-pairs. Converting from Fast Ethernet to Gigabit Ethernet can cause a potential issue when the third and fourth required pairs have been dormant for years and/or have gone untested. When bringing up a Gigabit Ethernet connection, these pairs may require additional attention from IT personnel. The Marvell Alaska family of Gigabit Ethernet transceivers with VCT technology analyzes all twisted pairs within seconds and identifies potential cabling issues that might have otherwise caused unnecessary equipment returns, on-site service calls and network down-time. In addition, the Company's patent-pending "downshift" technology ensures that the network continues to operate (at 100 Mbps) in two-pair environments.

"It is estimated that over 80% of service calls are directly related to the cable plant as opposed to the active networking equipment," stated Bob Gibble, Senior Network Consultant at NextiraOne, a leading systems integration company. "Marvell's Virtual Cable Tester technology is expected to significantly reduce the support phone call volume, which is particularly important as the industry continues to rapidly convert to Gigabit Ethernet networks which require four CAT 5 twisted-pair transmission lines. In addition, VCT technology significantly reduces installation time for new networks as cable testing and verification are performed automatically by the attached networking equipment, as opposed to labor intensive manual testing."

"Marvell is pleased to see the tremendous industry support behind our innovative and revolutionary on-chip VCT technology. VCT technology has quickly become a de facto requirement for Ethernet systems, and, as a result, we are actively integrating it into our PresteraTM software suite," stated Gary Smerdon, Marvell's Vice President of Marketing for the Communications Business Group. "Additionally, we are pleased to announce that our key software partners are also quickly integrating VCT into their software package offerings in support of our Prestera solution."

"The strong industry demand for Marvell's compelling VCT technology and the Prestera family of Gigabit Ethernet switch silicon has prompted Radlan to quickly accelerate the integration of VCT into our OpENSTM software package in support of Prestera-based systems," stated Michael Orr, Radlan's Vice President of Technology and Product Management. "Furthermore, VCT is being implemented in Radlan's selection of OpENSoloTM standalone and OpENStackTM stackable line of switches and routers, as well as in our OpENSelectTM modular chassis systems-all completely ready for production."

"Marvell's VCT technology offers tremendous value and cost savings to the end-user, IT manager and system integrator deploying the Prestera family of Ethernet switches and routers. Marvell's integration and support of VCT technology complements LVL7's award-winning FASTPATHTM software products with its extensive web-based management and switching software suite," stated Kishore Jotwani, Vice President of Marketing for LVL7 Systems.

About Marvell (
Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) is the leading global semiconductor provider of complete broadband communications solutions for the data communications and storage markets. The Company's diverse product portfolio includes switching, transceiver, communications controller, wireless, and storage solutions that power the entire communications infrastructure, including enterprise, metro, home, and storage networking. As used in this release, the terms "Company" and "Marvell" refer to Marvell Technology Group Ltd. and its subsidiaries, including Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. (MSI), Marvell Asia Pte Ltd (MAPL), Marvell Japan K.K., Marvell Taiwan Ltd., Marvell International Ltd. (MIL), Galileo Technology Ltd., and SysKonnect GmbH. MSI is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and designs, develops and markets products on behalf of MIL and MAPL.

Marvell, the Marvell logo, Alaska, Virtual Cable Tester, and Prestera are trademarks of Marvell.

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