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
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
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’
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.