Kalpana (company)

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IndustryComputer networking
FateAcquired by Cisco Systems
FoundedUnited States
FounderVinod Bhardwaj, Larry Blair
HeadquartersUnited States
ParentCisco Systems

Kalpana, a computer-networking equipment manufacturer located in Silicon Valley,[1] operated during the 1980s and 1990s. Its co-founders, Vinod Bhardwaj, an entrepreneur of Indian origin,[2][3] and Larry Blair[4] named the company after Bhardwaj's wife, Kalpana, whose name means "imagination" in Sanskrit.[4] Charles Giancarlo was Kalpana's vice president of products and corporate development, became its General Manager, and went on to roles at Cisco Systems and Silver Lake Partners.

In 1989 and 1990, Kalpana introduced the first multiport Ethernet switch, its seven-port EtherSwitch.[5] The invention of Ethernet switching made Ethernet networks faster, cheaper, and easier to manage. Multi-port network switches became common, gradually replacing Ethernet hubs for almost all applications, and enabled an easy transition to 100-megabit Fast Ethernet and later Gigabit Ethernet.[6][7] Kalpana also invented EtherChannel, which provides higher inter-switch bandwidth by running several links in parallel. This innovation, more generally called link aggregation, was also widely adopted throughout the industry. Kalpana also invented the Virtual LAN concept as closed broadcast domains, which was later replaced by 802.1Q.[citation needed]

Cisco Systems acquired Kalpana in 1994.[1]


Kalpana produced two models of Ethernet switch, the EPS-700 and the EPS-1500.

Kalpana EtherSwitch EPS-1500, one of the very first Ethernet switches.
Kalpana EtherSwitch specifications[8]
EPS-700 EPS-1500
max. Ports AUI 10 Mbit/s 15× AUI 10 Mbit/s
Forwarding method cut-through ("on the fly") packet switching
Throughput 30 Mbit/s 70 Mbit/s
Latency 40 μs
Buffer 256 packets


  1. ^ a b "Cisco to Acquire Kalpana, Leading Ethernet Switching Company". Cisco Systems, Inc. Archived from the original on 2010-02-07.
  2. ^ Network world 1998 Network world 1998
  3. ^ Network world website Archived 2012-10-13 at the Wayback Machine Network website
  4. ^ a b Breidenbach, Susan (May 4, 1998). "Switching grows up: Where we've come from". Network World. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012.
  5. ^ Robert J. Kohlhepp (2000-10-02). "The 10 Most Important Products of the Decade". Network Computing. Archived from the original on 2010-01-05. Retrieved 2008-02-25.
  6. ^ "AT&T makes Ethernet switching as easy as a "Seabreeze"". Lucent Technologies. Archived from the original on 1997-06-14.
  7. ^ "Ethernet Switching Is Being Pushed Into The Sphere Of Unimaginable Speeds". hardware.com. 2010-05-13. Archived from the original on 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
  8. ^ "Sun Microsystems Technical Product Marketing June 23, 1992". Sun Microsystems. Retrieved 2014-03-23.