2005 FAST 50 WINNER
Tony Bates, 37
Vice president and general manager
Cisco Systems Inc.
San Jose, California
With the growing popularity of Internet phone calls and bandwidth-devouring video, the Web is filling up with road hogs. In May, after four and a half years, Tony Bates's team introduced the equivalent of the Interstate Highway System for the Web. The Carrier Routing System One, or CRS-1, is a network router system so powerful that it could handle everyone on the planet making a VoIP call at the same time. It could also download the entire Library of Congress in 4.6 seconds (it'd take 82 years over dial-up). The team's innovations, from a flexible operating system to a 192-processor chip, are already working their way into new projects. "That's the broader strategic value of this system," Bates says. "The technology trickles down."