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Toshiba Will Market Next-Generation High-Speed Routers

28 January, 1997

TOKYO -- Toshiba Corporation today announced two next-generation high-speed routers that assure new levels of high-speed data transmission for the advanced networks of tomorrow. The new Cell Switch Routers (CSR) offer data transmission rates 10 times faster than that of Toshiba's current high-end routers, and provide real-time multimedia communications. Their versatility will support the future scalability of the Internet and the growing popularity of Intranets. These innovative routers will be demonstrated at COMNET 97, at the Washington DC Convention Center from February 4 to 6.

Toshiba will start marketing the new routers, CSR 5300, to public telephone companies, Internet providers, and universities and corporations in Japan from this June. They will also be marketed in the U.S. and Europe in due course.

Routers are the core switching equipment that connects multiple Internet Protocol (IP) networks, including the Internet backbone network and private local area networks. Information moved through these networks is broken down into discrete packets and then transmitted to the final destination. The role of the router is analogous to that of the post office: letters/data packets are collected, sorted and delivered to multiple addressees.

The tremendous increase of data communications on the Internet, along with the growing popularity of Intranets, requires a new communications infrastructure that assures high-speed transmission and real-time processing of vast volumes of information. The worldwide market of routers in 1996 was $5,023 million, and it is projected to grow 31% to $6,599 million in 1997.

Toshiba's CSR is based a novel approach that applies ATM switching technology to the router itself. It offers the advantages of high-speed data transmission while maintaining complete interoperability with standard ATM- switch based networks. Toshiba's approach brings new levels of performance to the ATM networks, the mainstream technology of next-generation high-speed networks.

In November 1996, Toshiba and Cisco Systems, Inc., the world's leading manufacturer of routers, agreed to work together to define standards for next- generation multilayer switching technology for high-performance networks. The two companies are seeking to establish an open global standard within the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

The new CSR is already poised for integration in the WIDE project, the large- scale, widely-distributed Internet network project being undertaken by one of Japan's leading Internet-project consortiums. Toshiba's CSR will be installed at the project's test sites in Japan.

Main features of Toshiba's Cell Switch Router

1) Use of a 2.5Gbps ATM switch as a high-performance packet-forwarding engine achieves 10 times faster data transmission speed than Toshiba's current routers. For applications requiring relatively short communication periods and involving smaller volumes of data, such as e-mail and simple data searches, the CSR uses the same packet transmission by software processing as conventional routers. For data-rich applications with relatively long communication periods and larger data volumes, such as use of search-engines on a WWW server or the transmissions of large files, the CSR automatically selects cut-through packet transmission mode that offer high-speed packet transmission via its ATM switch.

2) The CSR will support dual-mode operation which utilizes Topology and Flow Driven methods to provide flexible Network Layer Switching. In flow-driven switching, the cut through path is established on demand, according to the actual appearance of a packet flow at the node. In topology-driven switching, the cut through forwarding is established in advance, according to the topology of the network. CSR is the first technology to offer both techniques to optimize network traffic in any given situation. Current CSR 5300 supports Flow Driven only, and will be upgradable to support topology driven switching.

3) The CSR supports Switched Virtual Connection (SVC) communication protocol that observes the ATM Forum specification, and maintains interoperability with standard ATM switch based network.

4) The CSR supports interconnectivity with all kinds of datalink platforms, including Ethernet, FDDI and Frame Relay.


    WIDE Project: The Widely Integrated Distributed Environment Project was initiated as a research project in 1988, under Professor Jun Murai of Keio University. Its goal is to establish a new computer network platform, including operating systems and applications, to support large-scale, widely-distributed computer networks. Today, WIDE is one of Japan's most important Internet- related projects, and WIDE provides the Network Service Provider Internet Exchange to all Internets in Japan.

Specifications of the New Products (Japanese models)

Information in the press releases, including product prices and specifications, content of services and contact information, is current on the date of the press announcement,but is subject to change without prior notice.

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