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Sentient made products for internet service providers, inter-exchange carriers, and Regional Bell Operating Companies. They developed the industry's highest density ATM Circuit Emulation Service (CES) Gateway
They used the AAL1gator designed by Network Synthesis, acquired by Integrated Telecom Technology in 1996, and further acquired by PMC-Sierra in 1998 to both implement their Circuit Emulation Service as well as to just carry T1/E1 signals across their backplane.
Sentient was acquired by Cisco Systems, also of San Jose, California, on April 8, 1999 in combination with Fibex Systems for $445 Million dollars. At the time, they had 102 employees. Their CEO was Greg McAdoo. They joined the Multi-Service Switching business unit (MSSBU) of Cisco, which was the part of Cisco created by their acquisition of Stratacom.