SLIC Technology Works the Market

Alacritech Inc.'s new SLIC (session layer interface card) Technology has been found to significantly improve server performance in the Internet, corporate networks and network-based applications. Alacritech, founded by industry leader Larry Boucher, inventor of the SCSI interface and founder of Adaptec Inc. and Auspex Systems Inc., will offer high performance server adapters, delivering performance improvements in server CPU (central processing unit) performance and network throughput.

"This technology will turn traditional network interface technology on its ear," says Larry Boucher, President and CEO of Alacritech Inc. "SLIC Technology doesn't enhance what traditional network interface cards have done in the past; it is an entirely new solution. Alacritech's first products provide a path to Gigabit-level performance and will allow networked PCs to take full advantage of the CPU processing power, delivering new levels of performance to the desktop."

The company's first products will be two- and four-port 10/100 server adapters, targeted specifically at enterprise users, system integrators and computer system OEMs. Delivering outstanding performance by offloading protocol processing from the host, Alacritech server adapters improve host processor efficiency, boost data throughput, and decrease latency. The multi-port design supports aggregation of multiple ports to deliver Gigabit performance, allowing customers to easily upgrade systems without the inherent expense and time required to move to a Gigabit solution.

CPUs today provide enormous amounts of power, yet often aren't able to utilize that speed to deliver improved network performance because they are tied up processing Internet protocols. Today's demands for greater network hroughput cannot be solved using a conventional network adapter architecture simply because they are dependant on the CPU for all of their horsepower. Alacritech's SLIC architecture, designed to eliminate the burden of protocol processing on the server CPU, does not represent an "intelligent" or enhanced network adapter. Instead, SLIC represents a complete re-thinking of the connection to the corporate local area network (LAN) via a new class of network adapter that provides higher network throughput, lower CPU utilization, and greater server efficiency. SLIC Technology employs a custom Internet Protocol Processor (IPP) for protocol processing, rather than relying on the CPU to handle these tasks. Alacritech Fast Ethernet server adapters come bundled with up to 8 MB of onboard RAM for protocol processing and buffering. Conforming to PCI 2.2 specification for 64 bit devices for operation in either a 32- or 64-bit PCI environment, the products support Windows NT.

SLIC Technology is completely compatible with Ethernet, TCP/IP and today's standard PC hardware and software. Alacritech server adapters are compatible with legacy network adapters and all existing Ethernet infrastructure equipment, such as switches, hubs and routers. Furthermore, driver updates will include new IPP firmware to add features and allow SLIC Technology to remain completely compatible as new networking standards develop.

The Alacritech 100x4 Quad-Port Server Adapter sells for $599 and the Alacritech 100x2 Dual-Port Server Adapter sells for $299. Both products are available now.

For more information, visit their Web site at www.alacritech.com.