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Hitachi and Cisco Team In Telephony Alliance

Joining forces to meet the demand in the emerging telephony arena, Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. today announced a strategic alliance under which they will co-develop and co-market scalable, IP telephony platforms and technologies.

The jointly developed reference platforms will serve as the building blocks used by product designers to economically integrate IP telephony functions into a wide range of devices such as modems, telephones, set-top boxes, fax machines and other appliances, the two firms stated. No financial details were released.

The platforms will be co-marketed and will be based on the integration of Cisco NetWorks Software technologies with Hitachi SuperH RISC semiconductor technology.

The technologies and reference platforms fall under the umbrella of the Cisco NetWorks Program, and will be geared toward makers of network and Internet appliances to enable high-quality, low-cost voice and data communications via the Internet.

"Hitachi's semiconductor, electronics and systems solutions expertise complements Cisco's vision for the growth of global networks and aligns with the current product and technology directions which have placed Cisco at the forefront of the Internet Revolution," said Charles Giancarlo, senior vice president of Global Alliances at Cisco.

"As the industry moves to embed the Internet in a wide range of new products and applications, this alliance positions us and our customers as leaders of a new generation of Internet-based businesses and solutions."

Although the telephony market is in its infancy, researchers predict revenues to reach as high as $9 billion by 2002.

The first commercial reference designs arising from the alliance are scheduled for availability in the first quarter of 1999.