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NETWORK SYSTEMS LAYS OUT ATM STRATEGY; 1994 ROUTER-SWITCH TO COME FROM ALLIANCE WITH NORTHERN TELECOM

 WASHINGTON, March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- At the INTEROP Conference here, Network Systems(R) Corporation (NASDAQ: NSCO) announced its plans for incorporating Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) technology into its current and future products.
 In the first phase of the plan, an external ATM interface will be added to the company's new DXE (Data eXchange Extended ) product platform using a cellifier from Digital Link -- the DL3200/A. With this capability, a DXE-based router can communicate over a HSSI interface at speeds from T1 (1.5 Mbps) to OC1SONET (52 Mbps). The Digital Link unit can also convert Frame Relay or SMDS traffic to the ATM format. Phase 1 will be available this month.
 A unique capability of this implementation is that individual Permanent Virtual Circuits (PVCs) can be defined, each with its own Committed Information Rate (CIR). Thus, one PVC could support channel extension, while others handle bridged and routed traffic.
 In Phase 2 the DXE units will be equipped with an internal ATM interface with speeds up to OC3 (155 Mbps). Phase 2 is planned for the fourth quarter of 1993.
 In Phase 3, Network Systems will be releasing a new platform, the Enterprise Router-Switch(TM), a powerful cell-based product line built as part of the company's alliance with Northern Telecom.
 This product merges routing and cell-switching functions in a single platform. The ERS will perform direct switching of ATM traffic as well as switching of traditional media such as Ethernet, Token Ring, and FDDI; offer direct WAN connections for voice, data, and video traffic; have extensive redundancy, provisioning, and management features; and provide standard "telco-style" voice support and bandwidth management.
 The ERS will have a switching fabric bandwidth of 1.6 gigabits per second; a modular 16 slot chassis; redundant power supplies and processors; hot-swappable interfaces; auto-reconfiguration; and extensive network management and remote diagnostic features. The ERS is planned for mid-1994 availability; pricing has not been established.
 "Network Systems is implementing a unique and comprehensive ATM strategy," said Michael Fitzpatrick, president and CEO. "The ERS platform goes beyond what other router, hub, and switch vendors have announced to date. It is a high-performance, fault-tolerant system built from the ground up to take advantage of the speed, flexibility, and price/performance of cell technology. At the same time, we are not dependent on the rapid deployment of ATM, since the ERS will work with the DXE-based bridge-routers and switch existing network traffic, providing a smooth migration to the new cell-switching technologies as they evolve."
 Network Systems, based in Minneapolis, provides industry-leading networking solutions that integrate the host-based and LAN-based worlds of computing.
 -0- 3/8/93
 /NOTE: Network Systems and Enterprise-Router-Switch are trademarks of Network Systems Corporation/
 /CONTACT: Don Flanagan of Network Systems, 612-424-1555/
 (NSCO)


CO: Network Systems Corporation ST: Minnesota IN: CPR SU: PDT

AL -- MN008 -- 4025 03/08/93 12:41 EST
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Date:Mar 8, 1993
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