News Release

Cisco Makes ATM More Affordable With First Inverse Multiplexers

SAN JOSE, Calif., July 22, 1996 -- Cisco Systems,
Jul 22, 1996

SAN JOSE, Calif., July 22, 1996 -- Cisco Systems, introduced theindustry's first ATM inverse multiplexing products, which will lower thecost and simplify the operation of broadband networks.

The inverse multiplexing for ATM (IMA) products provide Internet access atspeeds between T1/E1 (1.544/2.048 Mbps) and T3/E3 (45/34 Mbps). Theyenable Internet service providers (ISPs), carriers and corporations tobuild redundant and flexible broadband networks by exploiting new ATMnetworking techniques that allow high-speed connections to be dynamicallyestablished between switches at speeds ranging from 1.5 Mbps to 16 Mbps.

The new IMA products are available immediately for the StrataCom BPX/AXISwide area ATM switch. The first IMA modules have been shipped to LDDSWorldCom. Because IMA delivers significant cost advantages to customers,Cisco will make IMA a strategic part of its ATM switching and routingproduct lines, which include CiscoLightstream 1010 campus ATM switches and Cisco 7000 family routers.

The IMA modules will initially support an interim specification for ATMinverse multiplexing that was developed by StrataCom, Inc., which is nowpart of Cisco. To protect customers' investments, a free software upgradewill be provided once a final IMA standard is available from the ATM Forum.

The interim IMA specification has been made available at no cost to CPEsuppliers, including ADC Kentrox, OnStream Networks and N.E.T. Inaddition, StrataCom worked closely with ADC Kentrox, providing designdetails to ensure timely availability of CPE and interoperability of thepre-standard release.

"ATM inverse multiplexing is important to our network expansion efforts,particularly outside the U.S. where circuit costs are often a prohibitivefactor in the expansion process," said Russ Ray, vice president ofengineering at LDDS WorldCom. "IMA represents a flexible and affordabletrunking option and is available today - delivering not only fractionalT3/E3 rates at a compelling price point, but also allowing us to maintainall the inherent benefits of ATM."

The new IMA products are designed to solve the problems network managersand service providers face when they need more bandwidth than allowed fromT1/E1 circuits, but do not have enough traffic to cost-justify a change tomore costly T3/E3 links.

"The delivery of ATM inverse multiplexing is an important milestone inspeeding ATM deployment and reducing the cost of building multi-servicebroadband ATM networks," said Alex Mendez, vice president of marketing forCisco's Wide Area Switching business unit. "ATM inverse multiplexing isideal for enterprise users and service providers looking to evolve to ATMand wanting to trunk switches at fractional T3/E3 rates, or for userswanting to bring traffic in from sites that exceed T1/E1 speeds but don'tjustify a T3/E3 connection."

Unlike bit-based inverse multiplexing, which requires synchronization ofT1/E1 links, the new IMA products are cell-based, allowing network managersto run connections across multiple carrier networks and maintain ATMquality of service features.

"The bandwidth gulf between T1 and T3 is a source of aggravation for manyusers," said Jennifer Pigg, vice president of data communications at theYankee Group. "We see a growing need among users for 3 Mbps-10 Mbps WANaccess, but users cannot cost-justify a full T3. The advent of ATM InverseMultiplexing coupled with emerging ATM-based Transparent LAN Services,particulary those with usage based pricing, will greatly accelerate userimplementation of broadband ATM."

With the new products, customers can now provision services and build ATMnetwork infrastructures based on specific traffic volumes and bandwidthrequirements. In addition, ATM switches can be connected with as little asa single T1 or E1 connection with additional bandwidth added in T1/E1increments to form single or multiple logical links as requirementsincrease.

The products also provide new levels of network reliability. With IMA,circuits can be added and eliminated dynamically as traffic requirementsdictate. If one circuit fails, for example, traffic can continue to besent over the remaining connections without service interruption.

"Moving directly from T1/E1 to T3/E3 ATM can involve as much as aneight-fold increase in cost and a 28 times increase in bandwidth," saidMendez. "Users' traffic volumes and budgets can seldom justify such ajump."

The IMA modules will initially support trunk connections between StrataComBPX switches at speeds from 1.544 Mbps to 16 Mbps and are priced at$18,000. Cisco has also developed an 8-port T1/E1 ATM UNI service module(AUSM) that will support ATM inverse multiplexing as a service interface(ATM UNI/NNI) on the AXIS. Pricing will begin at $24,000 with the IMAcapability as a $1,000 per port option.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the leading globalsupplier of internetworkingsolutions for corporate intranets and the global Internet.Cisco's products, including routers, LAN and ATM switches, dial-up accessservers and network management software, are integrated by the Cisco IOS software to linkgeographically dispersed LANs, WANs and IBM networks.Company news and product/service information are available at World WideWeb site is headquartered in San Jose, California.

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Technical Note to Editors

The inverse multiplexing for ATM (IMA) is a technique being defined by theATM Forum involving inverse multiplexing and demultiplexing of ATM cells ina round-robin fashion among circuits grouped to form a higher bandwidthlogical link with a rate roughly the sum of the link rates. The basicfunction of IMA is to provide a cost-effective means for user access to ATMnetworks and for connection between ATM network switches at rates greaterthan T1/E1.

Posted: Fri Jul 18 11:22:16 PDT 1997