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  • Hitachi, NEC to Develop Next-Generation Internet Technologies
  • December 30, 1999 (TOKYO) -- Four Japanese companies said they will jointly develop next-generation Internet technologies, including petabit per second or terabit per second routers.
    The four are Hitachi Ltd., NEC Corp., Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. and Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd.

    Tokyo Institute of Technology, Kyoto University, Hokkaido University and four other domestic universities, as well as the University of Michigan in the United States, also will participate in the project.

    The team plans to produce prototypes using the new technologies by the end of March 2000.

    The joint development has a budget of 1.06 billion yen (US$9.1 million) from Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry as part of the ministry's supplementary business budget for fiscal 1998.

    The four companies will develop backbone network technologies for telecommunications carriers such as: (1) higher-speed routing technology with a terabit per second or petabit per second exchange capacity, (2) a QoS (quality of service) routing protocol and (3) a multicast protocol.

    For the higher-speed routing technology, Hitachi will develop equipment to make higher-speed searches of a vast routing table using supercomputer technology.

    NEC will realize higher-speed routing processing by adopting a parallel processor in which more than one router and computers will be connected. It aims to realize the terabit per second or even petabit per second packet switching speed.

    The speed of existing high-speed routers is some 10s of gigabits per second even with a high-end model. For example, the maximum exchange capability of the Cisco 1200 GRS developed by Cisco Systems Inc. of the United States is 30 gigabits per second. The new technologies developed by the four firms will be more than 100 times faster than these existing routers.

    The technologies will be developed based on a resource reservation protocol (RSVP), an existing protocol to control the QoS.

    For multicast, the companies will develop specifications designed for large-scale networks.

    The development will be divided into three phases: verification experiments, disclosure of prototype technologies and commercialization. The verification experiments are slated during September-October 1999.

    In the experiments, the performance of the new protocol and the ultra high-speed routers will be tested over the Internet. The prototype technologies will be disclosed in December 1999. Commercialization of the developed technologies will be planned in the second quarter of 2000 or later.

    The four companies also launched Real Internet Consortium, a consortium to promote the joint development headed by Masataka Ohta of Tokyo Institute of Technology.

    The team will invite more companies to promote the development further. It will propose the protocol and technologies developed jointly to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), an organization to promote standardization of Internet-related technologies and other foreign standardization groups.

    More information in English is at: http://www.hitachi.co.jp/New/cnews/E/981221B.html

    (Nikkei Communications)

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    Updated: Tue Dec 29 15:54:01 1998 PDT