12. Reach Out and Touch Everyone

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.”


Tony Bates, 37

Vice president and general manager
Cisco Systems Inc.
San Jose, California