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Cisco has lined up ten companies that are to work with the San Jose, California-based company in developing its Tag Switching technology. According to Cisco, the ten will work with it to define Tag Switching as an open standard set of Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards for scaling the networks for Internet and large corporate intranets. Tag Switching is Cisco’s own version of IP Switching – a technology creating a lot of interest which switches IP traffic over Aynchronous Transfer Mode hardware (CI No 3,008). Rival vendors such as NEC, Fore Systems and DEC have signed to take IP Switching from Ipsilon the company that first developed the technology (CI No 2,923). Another, Bay Networks has announced its own IP Switching technology. Cisco submitted draft specifications for Tag Switching to the IETF in September. The new group will discuss the specifications as submitted and establish an IETF working group. The ten companies joining Cisco are Optical Data Systems Inc, Whitetree Inc, Adaptec Inc Efficient Networks Inc, Olicom, Net2Net Corp, Network General Corp, Radcom Limited, AG Communication Systems and NUKO Information Systems Inc. Cisco says that Tag Switching running on its Cisco 7500 series routers and its Lightstream 1010 campus ATM switches will be available in for field trials in the first half of 1997. Versions for the Cisco StrataCom BPX wide area ATM switch are expected to become available later in 1997.

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