Xiran's Unique DirectPath Architecture Assures End-to-End Gbit/s Transfer Rate Between Storage and Network of Servers, Delivering Content At Peak Wire Speed

1/23/2003 - Xiran, a division of SimpleTech, Inc. (Nasdaq: STEC), unveiled its DirectPath architecture – a universal solution for accelerating content delivery between network and storage of servers/storage appliances at Gbit/s wire speed. A first glimpse of this exciting new technology was provided to attendees of the Server I/O conference in Monterey, CA.

“We believe that our DirectPath architecture will revolutionize the delivery of content between network and storage,” said Jeanclaude Toma, vice president of marketing and business development for the company. “Current server architectures are very efficient at computation, but much less so when it comes to moving large data files between storage and networks, as well as responding to large numbers of users simultaneously requesting I/O services. Until now, adding more processors and memory along with more expensive disk storage has been the only way to increase the speed of content delivery and response time for large user bases. We believe that our DirectPath architecture offers a new economical, scalable and flexible solution to these problems.”

Toma explained that the DirectPath architecture provides an agnostic solution for accelerating content delivery in virtually every protocol now employed, including TCP/IP, UDP/IP, RTP, MPEG-TS, and HTTP to name a few. The DirectPath architecture offers high capacity throughput for transporting very large numbers of media streams from the DirectPath streaming media server to RealNetworks, Windows Media and QuickTime media players on users' desktops; for example, handling up to 9,000 300Kbps streams per server at a single time, an increase of up to 30x over current capabilities. Alternatively DirectPath architecture can be employed to implement cost-effective video-on-demand services, speeding 750 streams at 3.75 Mbps Standard Definition MPEG-2 based TV streams to customers, an improvement of 3x over current capabilities. In addition, since DirectPath technology supports iSCSI and TCP/IP protocol offloads, as well as RAID-based serial ATA, Fiber-Channel, and SCSI storage connectivity, it can be used to implement more efficient, reliable, secure data delivery. Applications such as disk-to-disk backup, tape emulation and secure storage can benefit from DirectPath architecture. Xiran's DirectPath server technology for VOD and storage will address these markets.

Implementation of Xiran's DirectPath architecture is accomplished using an advanced system IC or DirectPath Engine (DPE) developed by the company and fabricated by IBM Microelectronics to accelerate the processing of data content between storage and network. The DPE is a highly integrated, tightly coupled, programmable multi-processor. With its specialized hardware and supporting firmware, the silicon serves as the heart of a DirectPath Accelerator (DPA) I/O card. The DPA card is an agnostic platform for offloading the processing of layers 1 to 7 of the OSI system model from a traditional server. Xiran's DPA card combines Gigabit Ethernet and the Xiran DPE system IC with a range of storage interfaces, including Fiber-Channel, SCSI and serial ATA, offering an end-to-end direct path between network and storage. The DPA card's three-in-one functionality processes and separates Control and Data planes, and transports content between network and storage at Gbps wire speed. In operation, one or more scalable DPA cards can be used in conjunction with Intel- or Sun-based servers to build the required throughput to handle very high traffic streaming, VOD and storage environments.

“We will be combining our silicon and card level technology with supporting special combinations of firmware and software over the next several quarters that target solutions for streaming media, VOD and storage area networks (SANs) in the form of complete server and storage system appliances,” Toma said. “We also plan to work with several OEMs and application software providers to enhance these systems for existing high-value markets. Our strategy is to offer complete solution packages from silicon to system to our OEM and other sales channels. In today's competitive landscape, time to market is the critical requirement for success, and we want to enable our customers with a whole product and service approach. Specifically, we can offer card level and system level solutions to our customers in streaming, VOD and storage, reducing cost of development and rapid adoption of our technology.”

About Xiran
Xiran, a division of SimpleTech (Nasdaq: STEC), is a technology leader in developing advanced solutions for accelerating content delivery from storage appliances and servers to networks at wire speeds. Located in Irvine, California, the company combines proprietary hardware, firmware and software to implement its DirectPath family of products and systems. These are aimed at improving sever-width and performance in several high growth markets ranging from streaming media and video-on-demand to emerging enterprise applications involving storage area networks. For more information, visit the company's website at www.xiran.com.

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