Packet Design LLC has spun off two companies to further develop and market its networking technologies. Packet Design was formed in May 2000 by serial entrepreneurs and former Cisco Systems Inc. executives Judy Estrin and Bill Carrico. Packet Design develops products to improve the performance of the Internet and other networks, and then spins off separate startup companies to take the products to market. One of the two new spinoffs, Packet Design Inc., will offer a line of network appliances that extends the routing control plane to address the reliability, performance, scalability and predictability of IP networks. The second spin-off, Precision I/O, will commercialize a high-speed networking architecture developed by Packet Design that will allow servers to take advantage of increasing networking speeds, including 10Gbps Ethernet.

Having a SIP

Networking vendor Alcatel SA plans to begin shipping an enterprise-class voice and data communications server and related products this month based on the Internet Protocol and supporting the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), company officials said in February. The Alcatel OmniPCX Enterprise software and hardware line is designed with disaster protection features to aid branch offices in surviving outages, officials at Paris-based Alcatel said. The OmniPCX will be the first in the industry to incorporate enterprise-wide usage of SIP, which is an emerging protocol of IP-based networking that literally defines how an IP session starts and stops, whether the session is voice, instant messaging, video or something else, Alcatel said.

Turbo transmissions

Lucent Technologies Inc.’s Bell Labs research unit last month unveiled a new “turbo decoder” chip the company says can enable wireless transmission speeds up to 10 times faster than today’s most advanced mobile networks. However, actual implementations of lightning quick connections based on the technology are likely to remain distant: Lucent itself doesn’t plan to release equipment based on the standard that the chips support until 2006. In the meantime, the company plans to offer licenses for the technology to other manufacturers. The chips, which Lucent says can handle data rates up to 24Mbps, support the still-evolving High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) standard for high-speed transmissions. They will support first-generation HSDPA systems estimated at speeds of 5Mbps to 10Mbps as well as possible future systems that could go up to 20Mbps, according to a company statement. Lucent’s goal is to create high-performance, low-power components that will prompt manufacturers to pursue faster mobile networks.