News Release

Cisco to Demonstrate Direct ATM Interface for Router Family

New Card Will Be First to Support Adaptation Layers 3/4
Aug 23, 1993

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 23, 1993 -- Cisco Systems will demonstrate aprototype version of a direct Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) interfacefor its Cisco 7000 high-end internetwork router -- a key element insuccessfully linking the ATM and LAN environments -- at Interop 93 Augustin San Francisco next week.

The technology demonstration, to take place in Cisco's Interop booth,will involve transmitting video images between two workstations using Cisco7000 routers connected to an ATM switch. Each Cisco 7000 will be equippedwith a Cisco ATM Interface Processor (AIP), a product slated to be broughtto market during the first half of 1994. ATM switches from NEC, ForeSystems and SynOptics Communications will be used.

"ATM is becoming the fabric of choice for LAN backbones," said LarryLang, Cisco ATM product manager, "because its unbounded bandwidth offers ascalable foundation for growing internetworks. This demo shows clearly howinternetworking with ATM anticipates an array of emerging multimediaapplications."

Cisco's forthcoming AIP card will be the first router ATM interface tosupport both methods of converting data packets into ATM cells and backagain -- ATM Adaptation Layers 3/4 and 5 -- giving the user maximumflexibility. The AIP card uses two FRED ATM segmentation and reassemblychip sets developed by N.E.T.'s Adaptive subsidiary and two MIPS RISCprocessors. In addition, the AIP user will be able to select from amongphysical-layer "daughter cards" supporting TAXI 4B/5B on multimode fiber,SONET/SDH on single-mode fiber, twisted pair or other physical media.

The AIP card for the Cisco 7000 router constitutes the implementation ofPhase III of the three-part ATM strategy Cisco mapped out a year ago, Langsaid. In Phase I, Cisco and ADC Kentrox jointly developed a router/DSU(Data Service Unit) architecture to access SMDS (Switched Multi-Megabit DataService), the first cell-based service. In Phase II, the SMDS DSU wasreplaced with a true ATM DSU, developed by Digital Link and ADC Kentrox,which converts frames into standard ATM cells; this technology wasdemonstrated at DS3 speed (45 megabits per second) at last year's Interop.Phase III, a direct interface between the router and ATM switch, moves cellprocessing inside the router, eliminating the need for other equipment andincreasing performance.