San Jose, California-based local area networking specialist Excelan Inc has introduced the VMEbus-based LC 202, its first Ethernet Controller in the LAN Channel Family of optimised link controller boards and claimed to be the first smart link controller in the industry. The company also announced a new VMEbus Intelligent Ethernet controller board, EXOS 302 and reduced the price of the Exos 202 by 15%. Excelan claims that the LC 202 Ethernetlink board, based on an Intel 80186 provides the performance networking solution for Ethernet access at the lowest price. Designed for the link environment, it is claimed to provide significant performance enhancements when running host-resident protocols, such as Berkeley 4.2 BSD and other Unix derivatives. Initial benchmarks done by Excelan indicate link speeds of up to 9Mbps. According to Bob Davis, product marketing manager at Excelan, The on-board processor and firmware are tuned to provide an optimised path to the Ethernet, while providing network management functions not found on dumb controllers. With link access rates approaching the 10Mbps Ethernet limit, the LC 202 is ideal for applications requiring high speed and low interrupt latency such as Sun Network File System and other distributed file systems. The EXOS Intelligent Ethernet front-end processor board uses an 80286, which Excelan reckons provides users with up to 70% higher performance than existing solutions. The EXOS 302 is compatible with the existing 202 product and supports the same TCP/IP software. Both the EXOS 302 and EXOS 202 can function as either an intelligent controller, where the TCP/IP protocols run on the controller’s microprocessor, or in link mode depending on user’s needs. Excelan cut prices on the older EXOS 202 80186-based Intelligent Ethernet controller, by 15% to $2,000. EXOS 302 will be available in the second quarter at $2,495. LC 202 will be $1,500, also in the second quarter. And a LAN channel development kit consisting of two LC 202 boards with manuals, a software driver and application notes will out at the same time for $2,550. And a StarLan option for the EXOS 202 board is promised for delivery next quarter.