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Wind River Releases Network Stack with IPv6 Support

Pushing forward in its drive to accelerate the move to the new IP addressing system, IP version 6 (IPv6), Almeda, CA-based Wind River today announced IPv6 support for its WindNet network stack.

Developed in concert with Siemens , WindNet IPv6 provides the protocol and integrated networking support required for the next-generation IP protocol that is expected to serve as the new foundation for Internet traffic.

The current IP address (define) system, which assigns numerical values to a site's location, is based on IPv4 technology, which assigns locations using four octets of 8-bit blocks (such as 423.34.4342.1). With the sustained growth of the Web and mobile devices, however, IPv4's system may not be able to keep up with demand in the future.

IPv6, with its 16 octets totaling 128-bits, would be poised to handle the exponential increase in IP addresses, and also allow for more tailored communications such as security tags.

"Currently, IP version 4 (IPv4) supports up to four billion IP addresses, yet the number of connected devices ranging from desktop PCs and cell phones to wireless automotive applications continue to increase at a rapid pace. The IPv4 address space will soon be exhausted, making it imperative that companies provide technology to support this growth," said Dave Fraser, group vice president of products at Wind River.

WindNet IPv6 can be used for 3G wireless applications. Wireless networking vendors are among those calling for the rapid change to IPv6, as such devices are leading to the shortage in addresses.

Siemens teamed with Wind River on the IPv6 technology for the development of its 3G next generation wireless telephony and infrastructure equipment. According to Klaus Hjorth, Director of R&D of Siemens Mobile, Wind River's work will help integrate an IPv6 protocol stack into Siemens' various products.

According to a report issued recently by the Yankee Group in the specific area of IPv6, many wireless operators and enterprises felt that there was not enough expertise to go around. The group notes that this has created a demand for third-party support that it anticipates to increase as the market develops.

While Compaq, Cisco and Nokia have all been working to hammer out the transformation to IPv6, analysts are uncertain when the system will actually be hammered out and ready to use. With issues over specifications and integration from version 4 to version 6 still being adjusted, it may be months or years before full scale adaption

WindNet IPv6 is currently available for "early adopter" customers and will be available generally by September 2002.