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In addition to server switches, Alteon produced the first network interface controller (NIC) in 1997 that used Gigabit Ethernet (demonstrated at the Networld + Interop trade show in September 1996).
Alteon's third generation Gigabit Ethernet NIC (code named "Tigon") became the basis for Broadcom's family of ethernet controllers (series BCM570x)  and has shipped over 60 million copies. It was used in low-cost adapters from vendors such as 3Com.
In July 2000, Nortel Networks announced it was buying Alteon for US$6 billion in stock. The deal had originally been announced with a value of $7.8 billion, but the stock market plummeted before the deal closed in October.
Nortel rolled the ACEDirector and ACESwitch products into its Personal Internet product line, but one year later sales had slowed down.
On February 22, 2009 Nortel Networks announced they would sell the Alteon application switching line to Radware, for $17.65 million.