SOURCE: Ether2 Corp.

November 15, 2005 12:00 ET

Ether2 Debuts Paradigm-Shifting Solution for Network Computing, Eliminating Routers and Switches

Revolutionary "Routerless Routing, Switchless Switching" Replaces Traditional Ethernet, Wins National Technology Transfer Award

SEATTLE, WA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 15, 2005 -- Supercomputing Conference/SC05 -- Ether2 Corp. will unveil a breakthrough technology in network computing here today: a network protocol that can replace Ethernet, yet run all Ethernet applications without using any routers or switches to manage data traffic.

Ether2's revolutionary solution enables the direct, efficient transport of packet traffic over the network's original synchronous data channel -- completely eliminating the need for expensive hardware devices, including routers or switches, in virtually any large-scale network setting. This new technology, which has already been granted a U.S. Patent, will lead to an initial cost savings of more than 40 percent for high performance networks, while improving overall performance and slashing long-term maintenance costs.

Ether2's technology is based on the Distributed Queue Switch Architecture (DQSA), developed at the Illinois Institute of Technology, by a team led by Campbell. IIT has licensed the technology for commercial applications exclusively to Ether2. The technology won the prestigious T2 Technology Transfer "Best of Show" award in Los Angeles last week, where it bested university-originated research applications from dozens of major research universities nationwide. The event was produced by the Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance (LARTA).

While this technology could eventually have a broad impact across most network data communications systems, the breakthrough will be of particular impact in the High Performance Computing (HPC) realm, which deals with integrating hundreds to thousands of powerful computers in large data centers and research facilities. Other potential applications include storage area networks, server farms, backplane and bus structures, cell phone services, LANs, WANs and wireless networks.

"The world's telecommunications networks were built as synchronous circuit-switched networks for voice traffic. However, computers don't have voices, they speak in data packets, which could never be transmitted efficiently over legacy voice networks," said Graham Campbell, Ph.D., co-founder and chief technology officer for Ether2 and inventor of the core technology at IIT. "Therefore, the original Ethernet technology created a separate network on top of the network to handle data. Our technology does away with the need for a separate asynchronous network and allows data to be transferred more efficiently over the original synchronous data channels, resulting in higher performance and zero need for expensive hardware switches and routers, which were built to support this artificial construct."

"Therefore, Ether2 has rendered obsolete the entire asynchronous layer that is the basis of much of the cost of today's network computing," said Campbell. "Yet the implementation of this disruptive technology is distinctly non-disruptive: networks will now simply run without the legacy router and switch hardware, and all network controls will reside at the edge of the network in the form of a 'distributed' switching solution."

Through a simple, PCI-based network interface card (NIC) and proprietary chip, Ether2 simply and elegantly provides high performance data transmission over any existing fiber, copper or wireless data network. The Ether2 drivers are written to look exactly like Ethernet, which means that nothing needs to change in the server operating system or software applications.

Removing Routers and Switches Speeds Performance

"In high performance computing, it's all about removing the killer latency that results from bottlenecks in the network," added Campbell. An Ether2 distributed switch offers very low latency at less than 1 microsecond for network speeds of 2.5 Gbps and higher. An Ether2 network is also virtually free of dropped packets, so Ether2 is perfect for Linux servers on multi-platform grids, IP switches, or voice and video applications that require a higher quality of service (QoS).

Ether2's efficient use of the original synchronous data channels also eliminates the wasteful process of over-provisioning circuits for peak loads. Ether2 provides a combination of unlimited scalability and linear growth cost control. Data administrators will never run out of ports in which to add processors, and the cost to add them will be incremental.

Ether2 also offers native features that are unmatched by any other switching technology, including true broadcast, multicast, many-to-one, single messaging, and dynamic channel allocation. In addition, removing switch and router bottlenecks not only eliminates some 40 percent of the total cost of initially equipping a network, it saves even more in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) in electricity savings, maintenance contracts, hardware replacement, professional services and administrative overhead -- which are all eliminated when the entire network hardware component is removed from the network infrastructure.

Ether2 expects to bring to market commercial products for sale to corporations, research institutes and government facilities that utilize cluster computing as potential early adopters. "They feel the most pain because the costs associated with growing cluster networks is not linear, making high performance switches expensive to build out," says Campbell.

Ether2 expects its first product, a 1 GB network interface card, will be able to ship in Q3 2006. Concurrently, the Company is entering a licensing agreement with a wireless equipment manufacturer, and will entertain other application specific licensing partnerships and bundling opportunities. Distributors and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) relationships will be sought in the coming year.

About Ether2 Corp.

Ether2 Corp. ( is the sole technology licensor of the revolutionary Ether2 network infrastructure that allows for Ethernet-based networks to eliminate all routers and switches, and instead create a more efficient data communications stream using the networks original synchronous network protocol, rather than the inefficient, asynchronous Ethernet overlay.

The Ether2 team, in addition to Campbell, includes network industy veterans David Dietrich, Gary Bahadur and Jonathan Gael. Ether2 is headquartered in Los Angeles at the famous One Wilshire building, where the company will support data center and carrier clients in what is arguably, the most densely populated data center in the world. Ether2 engineering and manufacturing is located in Vancouver, BC.

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