Brother Creates First Content Distribution System with Grid Technology

12/16/2005 - Brother Industries, Ltd. (TSE: 6448) announces that in cooperation with the Grid Technology Research Center of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Muraoka Research Lab. of Waseda University and Xing Inc., it has developed the world's first content distribution system using grid technology (hereinafter, "CDG System")3.

The CDG System is a revolutionary system that can "distribute high volume digital content to many users" at low cost and with a high level of security, a task which is difficult with the existing distribution system (server-client system4). It can be used for many applications that are drawing great interest today including the distribution of music, videos (VOD) and games.

Background of the Development
Grid technology builds a virtual high performance computer by connecting multiple computers over a network. Because of its advantage that users can effectively tap the required processing power and memory capacity, it is drawing attention as the latest networking technology.

With integration of broadcasting and online communications advancing today, the volume of digital content distributed in broadband environments has become increasingly higher, and the number of broadband users is growing.

With the existing systems, when multiple users request access to high volume content at the same time, delays occur, and sometimes problems such as system crashes happen. To prevent this, stronger distribution servers and higher capacity lines are regularly called for, which requires a large amount of equipment investment.

Brother subsidiary Xing Inc. is a leading online karaoke and content business. Taking advantage of its accumulated resources in this field, in January 2004, with the goal of developing a high volume content distribution system, Brother started researching and testing distribution based on grid technology, in partnership with AIST Grid Technology Research Center, Muraoka Research Lab. of Waseda University and Xing. After approximately two years of joint research and development, Brother successfully developed the world's first autonomous content distribution system, the CDG System. As the next step, the Brother group aims to develop a new business with this new innovative system.

System Overview
The CDG System distributes content by sharing throughout the whole system the CPU and memory of PCs, STBs 5 and terminals such as digital home appliances, and the resources such as the networks that these terminals are connected to. With a newly developed algorithm, which in itself is the first of its kind anywhere, it has become possible for the individual terminals to autonomously and optimally store and coordinate content in their caches 6 each time they go online and thereby work together to autonomously and evenly bear the load of the overall system.

At the same time, each terminal identifies the nearest terminals in the network and autonomously retrieves content shared between their caches (world's first), so a distribution server is unnecessary. Furthermore, with the CDG System, an increase in terminals means an increase in resources, therefore even if the number of users increases, system stability is maintained, making it unnecessary to boost network capacity, etc.

Accordingly, with the CDG System, the problems of being unable to access the desired content or access concentrating on a specific terminal are all gone. Moreover, minimal initial investment is needed to build a system and running costs can be kept very low even if the number of users increases.

Moreover, the CDG System offers the highest level of security in the industry by adding proprietary content protection technology to existing DRM (Digital Rights Management) and the electronic authentication used by existing grid technology.

The CDG System can distribute large volumes of data at low cost and under highly secure management, therefore it is an optimal choice for the distribution of music, videos (VOD) and games, which have been drawing popular interest over the past few years. And, compared to existing distribution systems, distribution costs can be kept to several thousands times less2.

Believing the CDG System to be the de facto standard in distributing digital content of increasingly larger volume and diversity, Brother wants to study various business models and explore possible alliances.

For further reference materials please visit the Brother website at

1 Grid technology - Technology that builds a virtual high performance computer by connecting multiple computers over a network, whereby enabling users to tap only the required processing power and memory capacity from it.
2 Several thousands times less - Assuming the distribution of music content to more than a million users , distribution costs of the CDG System are several thousands times less that of existing systems.
3 CDG - Acronym for Contents Delivery by Grid. Name of the technology jointly developed by Brother and AIST Grid Technology Research Center, Muraoka Research Lab. of Waseda University and Xing Inc.
4 Server-Client system - System in which requests from clients are collectively processed by a server.
5 STB - Acronym for Set Top Box. Generic name of a device that connects to a TV set in order to receive various services.
6 Cache - The temporary storage of frequently used data in memory and the device that does this.

About Brother Industries Ltd.
Brother Industries, Ltd. (TSE: 6448) was established in 1934 as an enterprise to manufacture and distribute sewing machines. Since then, the Company has striven to add more value to its products so as to "help people realize their dreams all over the world." Today, its line of products is focused on information and communications equipment such as printers and facsimile machines and also includes sewing machines for home and industrial use as well as machine tools. Brother has also expanded its business operations overseas. Currently, it has 18 production facilities, 5 in Japan and 13 overseas, and 38 sales companies in 31 countries and regions.

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