Routers have been a fundamental network element in the IP world for many years. They originated in the very early 1980s at some of the major universities then connecting to Arpanet. For several years, routers took a back seat to bridges and repeaters for interconnecting networks. Then in the early 1990s, as data began the explosion that is still in progress, routers enjoyed a resurgence of popularity. They now are the major element in the Internet, and with the unending acceleration of growth in the Internet, they continue to grow in importance as a network element.
A router consists of ports (line cards), a switching fabric, and interconnections between the two. It also has control processors (primarily for storage of and access to the routing tables) and power circuitry.
Routers are used to interconnect network segments of different types, e.g., to interconnect a LAN in a modem pool to an upstream circuit. They are also used to segment LANs of the same type, to reduce congestion or to limit the number of terminals on given segments. They can also be used to interconnect networks with different lower-layer protocols.
The report provides market forecast for North American and World routers by market size, units and types (core vs. edge and other types).
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