This excerpt taken from the MRVL 10-K filed Apr 14, 2005.
Transmission of Data
In recent years there has been a rapid increase in the volume of data transmitted across and within computer networks, the public telephone infrastructure and the Internet. Communications infrastructures are constantly evolving to support this increase in data transmission demand. In computer networks that span relatively large geographical areas, known as wide area networks, or WANs, this increase in data transmission demand has driven the deployment of high capacity fiber-optic transmission systems and new broadband access technologies, such as cable modems and digital subscriber lines. In computer networks that span relatively small geographical areas, known as local area networks, or LANs, this increase in data transmission demand has resulted in a transition from the 10 Megabit per second Ethernet technology to the 100 Megabit per second Fast Ethernet technology and 1,000 Megabit per second Gigabit Ethernet technology. In addition, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, or 10G, which provides data transfer rates of 10,000 Megabits per second, is now being used in server and backbone connections.
In the broadband communications market, physical layer devices, switches, system controllers and communications controllers are critical to the deployment of new, higher data rate transmission technologies. Gigabit data transmission rates present significant data recovery and management challenges. We believe that many businesses have made significant investments installing computer networks using copper twisted pair wires. A number of problems, such as interference from adjacent lines and signal echo, arise when transmitting data at Gigabit rates on the existing copper twisted pair wire. The most common form of copper twisted pair wire installed was originally designed to support 100 Megabit per second data transfer rates. As a result, the deployment of Gigabit Ethernet requires either the costly and time-consuming task of upgrading this wiring or the deployment of new physical layer devices that enable Gigabit transmission rates on the existing infrastructure.
Additionally, with the adoption of Institute of the Electrical and Electronics Engineers' (IEEE) 802.11 industry standards for wireless transmission of data, many wireless applications have been developed. Many new emerging consumer applications such as cell phones, printers, digital cameras, MP3 devices, speakers, game consoles and PDAs are beginning to adopt 802.11 wireless technologies for a variety of different usages of the wireless functionality. We believe that 802.11 technologies will be broadly deployed in such electronic devices as reliable, low cost and low power 802.11 radios and processors begin to be provided.