DOMITIUS is a consortium of European storage and networking industry leaders combined with leading integrated circuit suppliers that aims to develop, demonstrate, and market products for the emerging high speed Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) networks that will form the core of tomorrow's information superhighway.
The partners plan to combine their resources to bring to market all the components of an ATM Adapter card operating at 622 megabits per second (Mbps) constituting a complete ATM endpoint system, including the chip-sets, an adapter board, a device driver and application program interfaces.
This ATM endpoint will consists of a CETIA developed Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) bus ATM Adapter Card developed with highly integrated GaAs physical layer circuits (IC) designed by GIGA, and ATM Adaptation Layer (AAL) controller ASIC developed by MATRA MHS with the assistance of the University of Patras. Grau Storage Systems, with the assistance of MultiStream Systems, will develop the adapter firmware, an operating system device driver, an ATM Application Programmer's Interface (API), and related support software. The interaction among all these entities will be structured so as to make everything except for the API completely transparent to a user application, to simplify and standardize inter-communication between entities, and to support the emerging network attached storage and computer cluster applications that require very large bandwidth.
This combination of resources will allow the partners to create a new market for intelligent mainframe-class storage devices that can be connected directly to an ATM network. ATM networks can support much higher transfer rate than conventional networks, and with directly attached devices, can provide very low cost, high capacity, high performance storage. This new breed of storage devices would be used to support conventional applications or new high data rate applications such as multimedia, telemedicine, video conferencing, video mail and video-on-demand. Intelligent storage systems operating up to 622 Mbps, will be the first of many products to take advantage of the new high bandwidth ATM network technology.
The ATM networks systems can easily be integrated with the legacy networks and will allow direct attachment of various intelligent peripherals, resulting in lower latency, higher performance and lower cost. Low-cost ATM networks will be the preferred method to deploy tomorrow's multimedia and audio-video applications. The resulting ATM Adapter will also appeal to the increasing desire of computer vendors and end users to link computer into clusters. Clusters of computers, interconnected with low latency high-speed networks, are becoming an attractive and relatively low cost alternatives to supercomputers and symmetric multi processors. Clustering of high end RISC based workstations, although attractive, has so far been impractical if not nearly impossible, due to lack of low latency network interfaces capable of supporting very high data rates required by the process migration. ATM technology can efficiently create high speed, switched networking infrastructure that is essential.
Intelligent network attached storage devices themselves will become an important component of computer clusters, quite often constituting the pivotal point. The complexity of (particularly ATM) chips, the move toward shorter development cycles, seamless software and hardware interfaces, the need to develop viable "plug and play" applications, and the convergence of systems, networking, storage and software technologies all call for an alliance where each partner can make a significant contribution toward an integrated solution.
ATM products developed as part of the DOMITIUS project will be marketed and sold world wide. The ATM cells will be exploited as ASIC library elements and will extend the ELI library offer in the ATM direction. This project will be developed within the OMI framework. A family of ATM library cells conforming with the ELI library interface specification will be developed.
A full ATM chipset will be available at the end of the project, and demonstrated in a computing cluster system and in a storage system. As part of a truly open OMI library complying with the OMI standards, the developed macro-cells will be suitable for usage in combination with elements developed in other OMI projects such as SMILE. This will open the door to a higher level of integration, where 32 bit RISC macro-cells will be integrated with ATM telecommunication ones, to accommodate high performance, cost effective embedded telecommunication controllers.
Through the ELI compatibility and anticipated agreement in an OMI licensing scheme, the European industry will benefit from the results of the developed macro-cells.
DOMITIUS is a product oriented R & D project which involves European companies with expertise and interest in IC design, computing, storage and communication systems, guaranteeing high quality work and the exploitation of results in mid 90's.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts