What happened that caused vendors to build a new generation of bridge products and invent a new name for them?
LANs got bigger.
Bandwidth needs increased.
Vendors got smarter.
Hardware got better and cheaper.
The most important hardware innovation was the introduction of low-cost application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips. The steps in a computer program(or in a group of computer programs) can be converted to hardware logic thatis etched onto an ASIC chip. The result is that the programs run a lot faster.
This actually is not a new idea. For years, there have been chips that performed specialized compute-intensive functions such as encryption or data compression. What is new is the ability to design special-purpose ...