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IBM INNOVATION TO IMPROVE 'INTERNET EXPERIENCE.

IBM has announced a tiny piece of technology that can yield big improvements in the quality and speed of information traveling across the Internet and other networks.

Using just 100 lines of software code, IBM's new bandwidth allocation technology (BAT) can help ensure that more time-sensitive network traffic reaches its destination faster, leading to jitter-free video, uninterrupted e-business transactions and an enhanced Internet experience.

BAT software runs on IBM's PowerNP "network processor" chip, embedded in networking gear like routers and switches. Together, the PowerNP and BAT can not only prioritize information, but also pack more of it on existing communications lines, potentially doubling their current capacity.

"One year after entering the game as an OEM supplier for networking technology, we're changing the rules of play," said James Northington, vice president of network processing for IBM. "Our new BAT is to communications networks what overnight services were to traditional mail. We've created a new method for Internet service providers to offer different levels of priority service to meet diverse customer needs, while making better use of existing resources."

The goals in managing traffic on a network are similar to a priority mail service: let customers decide and pay for the level of service they need, then use the appropriate form of transportation to meet the delivery commitment -- packing every truck and plane as completely as possible. Current networking limitations mean service providers have to over plan for anticipated traffic, often wasting valuable capacity. IBM's network processor and BAT can more simply and efficiently assign available bandwidth, helping service providers move more information over their network infrastructure.

The BAT innovation is the latest in a series of significant advancements in IBM's integrated family of networking chips and services, already in use by every major supplier of networking equipment. IBM plans to include BAT on the copper-based PowerNP NP4GS3 network processor, sampling to customers this year. IBM will demonstrate the bandwidth management software at the Networld+Interop trade show in Atlanta (IBM booth No. 4361) during the week of September 25.

IBM's PowerNP is a leader in a new class of "network processor" chips created to enhance networking gear through software instead of costly, time-consuming hardware upgrades. While some vendors only offer individual pieces of the puzzle, or turn to acquisitions to assemble the full suite of components, IBM's integrated platform--hardware, software, services and support--is quickly becoming a defacto standard for network gear makers. While competitors continue to fill out their initial product lines, IBM is already using its considerable portfolio of internal technologies and design skills to announce its second-generation of networking products and technologies.
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Title Annotation:Company Business and Marketing
Comment:IBM INNOVATION TO IMPROVE 'INTERNET EXPERIENCE.(Company Business and Marketing)
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 18, 2000
Words:433
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