IBM Joins RapidIO Trade Association to Promote Adoption of New Interconnect Technology

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EAST FISHKILL, N.Y. & SAN FRANCISCO, Calif - 30 Apr 2001: IBM and the RapidIO Trade Association today announced that IBM has joined the open-standards body as a steering committee member and will help drive the adoption of the newly-released RapidIO Interconnect Specification.

The new RapidIO specification addresses a critical bottleneck in networking equipment: the speed at which components inside embedded systems communicate with each other. It defines a switch fabric architecture for connecting chips and boards within a system that supports transmission rates hundreds of times faster than current technology.

The RapidIO Trade Association is an industry consortium promoting the adoption of this new, high-performance specification. As an open standard, the specification offers a practical migration path to bridge existing architectures and the long-term flexibility to meet changing industry needs.

"IBM is a leader in developing and providing high-performance embedded semiconductor products to the networking industry," said Christine King, vice president, Semiconductor Products, IBM Microelectronics. "We feel that the use of a standard interconnect based on the RapidIO architecture will vastly accelerate and improve next generation PowerPC-based systems."

IBM joins Alcatel, Cisco Systems, EMC Corp., Ericsson, Lucent Technologies, Mercury Computer Systems, Motorola and Nortel Networks on the consortium's steering committee. The RapidIO Trade Association is a member-controlled organization of over 40 companies worldwide who participate in the development of the interconnect specification. The steering committee is responsible for overseeing the activities of the organization as a whole.

The RapidIO architecture offers increased bandwidth, lower costs, and a faster time-to-market for networking, telecommunications and embedded products than today's computer-centric bus standards. The technology is compatible with the widely-used PCI bus and is software transparent, making it compatible with existing architectures and offering a practical migration path to next generation performance. The specification is available at no cost to industry professionals on the organization's Web site,

"By participating in the RapidIO Trade Association at the highest level of involvement as a steering committee member, IBM is demonstrating a strong commitment to standards that are easily accessible to all manufacturers and that will continue to evolve with the market's changing needs," said Sam Fuller, RapidIO steering committee chair.

"As a leading vendor of embedded processors, networking processors and ASICs for embedded and networking applications, IBM understands our concerns for the changing direction and needs of the industry. Their membership in the RapidIO Trade Association validates both the technical capabilities of the RapidIO interconnect and our open standard process of specification development," he said.