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Advanced Switching Communications Specification Based on The PCI Express Interconnect Unveiled; New SIG Formed to Spearhead Ratification.

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 30, 2003

An industry consortium has completed development of the Advanced Switching specification, which builds on the new PCI Express* interconnect architecture, creating for the first time an industry-standard method of interconnecting system boards and components within communications products. The consortium also formed a special-interest group to spearhead the new standard's industrywide adoption.

The consortium of communications leaders, known as the Arapahoe Working Group (AWG), has completed Draft 1.0 of the Advanced Switching specification and will transfer it to the newly formed Advanced Switching Interconnect SIG (ASI-SIG) later this year.

The board of directors was also appointed to govern the ASI-SIG. It includes Agere Systems, Alcatel, Huawei Technologies, Intel Corporation, Siemens AG, Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. and Xilinx Inc.

"The Advanced Switching specification will enable a standards-based building-block approach to wireless, communications, storage, telecom and embedded product development, eliminating for the first time the burden of costly, time-consuming proprietary schemes necessary until now," said Rajeev Kumar, president of the ASI-SIG, and Advanced Switching initiative manager for Intel Corporation. "The widespread industry involvement in the creation of the specification suggests the urgency of the undertaking. We anticipate that momentum will culminate in ratification of the spec by the end of this year."

"Advanced Switching provides the first opportunity for the industry to transition from proprietary methods to a communications-protocol agnostic, standards-based approach for building switch fabrics," said Simon Keeton, director of marketing and applications for Advanced Switching products, Vitesse, and board member of ASI-SIG. "By providing a feature set not found in any other standards-based interconnect, Advanced Switching solves the complexity and cost issues that come with proprietary schemes, and future proofs the use of the switch fabric in communication equipment."

The AWG also announced several new members, including Cadence, Cascade, Denali, Erlang Technologies, Fulcrum Microsystems, GDA Technologies, Interphase, iVivity, Mentor Graphics, Mindspeed, Paradigm Works and Unisys, bringing its ranks to more than 60 companies representing equipment manufacturers, fabric vendors, chip makers and intellectual property developers. Kumar said he expects the majority of AWG members to join the ASI-SIG.

Details on the New Advanced Switching Specification

The Advanced Switching technology is a scalable switched-interconnect and data-fabric architecture based on the PCI Express standard for interconnecting components and system boards in low- to middle-range wireless, networking, storage and embedded solutions.

The completed specification details an architecture built on the same physical and link layers as the PCI Express standard to achieve widespread interoperability and cost-effective re-use of technology. Advanced Switching is optimized at the transaction layer to provide the equipment developer extensive flexibility for designing value-added features into communications and embedded solutions. The specification describes an array of specialized communications features, including support for any networking protocol, quality of service, peer-to-peer and multicast communications, enhanced high-availability functions, and congestion and system management.

Information on the Advanced Switching specification and membership information for the ASI-SIG can be found at

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 30, 2003
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