L M Ericsson Telefon AB has signed a research co-operation agreement with Tandem Computers Inc to investigate the possible use of Tandem’s ServerNet system area network technology in its switching systems. Ericsson, which in the past has had OEM agreements in place with Tandem for fault-tolerant servers, has noticed that its AXE switching system has a similar architecture to Tandem’s ServerNet, and now that it’s ready to produce a multi-processor version of the AXE system, believes it could use the Tandem technology in place of its own. Both [AXE and ServerNet] are duplicated for security reasons, which makes them fault-tolerant in a similar way, said Gunnar Eriksson, president of Ericsson research and development. ServerNet would be used as a fault-tolerant, high bandwidth switching fabric for interprocessor communications within the AXE switches. Tandem already has OEM deals in place for ServerNet from Compaq Computer Corp, Dell Computer Corp, NEC Corp, Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG and Unisys Corp.