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April 21, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

The SunConnect unit of Mountain View-based Sun Microsystems Inc has signed a development agreement with venture start-up Network Peripherals Inc, Milpitas, California under which the two will develop Fibre Distributed Data Interface network systems for the Sparc system. The first stage of the agreement will see SunConnect incorporating Network Peripherals’ SBus FDDI Network adaptors for fibre optic and unshielded twisted pair copper cabling into a new product line, to be called SunLink FDDI/S 3.0. This will build on earlier SunLink FDDI packages by offering single-attach communications over fibre optic cabling, in addition to the unshielded twisted pair support that is already offered. Also planned is a new dual-attach fibre option intended to provide failure protection for mission-critical applications. Each of the new packages will provide drivers for the Solaris 1.x and 2.x implementations of Unix, and will include the SunNet Manager software proxy agent for management from Sun Networks, which will be based on the FDDI SMT 7.3 standard for monitoring FDDI nodes. The adaptors are said to support multiple protocols concurrently, including Open Systems Interconnection, X25 and TCP/IP, and to be compatible with ANSI FDDI standards. The products are scheduled for ship this quarter, replacing earlier SunLink FDDI products. Existing users of FDDI/S 1.0 and 2.0 will be able to trade in the SBus hardware for the new single-attach fibre version for $1,695 until August 31; the cost is $2,250 for new users. The single-attach unshielded twisted pair/Category 5 version will be $1,700, while the fibre optic dual-attach version will be $3,400.

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