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February 23, 1993


By CBR Staff Writer

IBM Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co promised back in December that they would formally unveil their Fibre Channel Systems Initiative in six to eight weeks’ and that all the major workstation companies had signed up (CI No 2,070). They duly unveiled the Initiative yesterday, but the only name they were able to add to their own was that of Sun Microsystems Computer Corp. The aim of the initiative is to agree a standard for 1Gbps communication over fibre optic cable between workstation and workstation, workstation and peripherals, workstation and outside services and peripheral to peripheral, starting out by working on high-speed communication between applications running on multiple workstations from more than one vendor. The aim of this is to use the Fibre Channel to share the processing of complex applications, such as stock market analyses among clustered computers – effectively providing a physical layer to underlie the Distributed Computing Environment. Another application mentioned is the instant transmission by doctors of large data files containing diagnostic images to other offices. IBM and Hewlett-Packard aim in the medium term to hand work from the Initiative over to an FC/Open consortium.

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