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Intel grants computer science department money, equipment

The University's computer science department has received one of seven grants from the Intel Corporation providing money and new Intel Internet Exchange Architecture (IXA) hardware to develop networking software, according to Jen Daughetee, public relations manager for Intel Network Communications.

Computer science professor Larry Peterson's "extensible router" project — which aims to build an Internet router that uses commercially-available components — will benefit from the grant, which was awarded last week. A router directs data through a computer network system, Daughetee explained.

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Peterson said the grant includes money to hire a support staffer and $137,000 to pay for the project's graduate and undergraduate workers.

The best part of the grant, however, will be access to some "cutting edge hardware that Intel is still developing," Peterson said. "IXA is a very high performing network card you can plug into a PC that has a processing capability beyond the typical interface card," he said.

As part of the grant's stipulations, Peterson's project will develop routing software specifically for the IXA hardware.

"The exciting thing is we're involved in what I think is going to be a re-invention of the Internet and its components," Peterson added. While IXA has only been available to developers and research groups, he said he expects it to start appearing in wide-release products for the Internet within a year.

The recent grant is not the first the University has received from Intel. The extensible router project actually began last June under a different Intel grant.

"We were already working with them when the [new] program came up," Peterson said, explaining that he decided to apply for the grant because it would provide access to IXA, which first came out in September.

New technology

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The grants that Intel is providing also will help the company publicize its new technology. "We expect to see greater implementation of IXA as a result of the grants," Daughetee said.

Grants to universities are especially helpful, she noted, because they can lead to development of products using IXA, such as Peterson's project. Grants can also influence the incorporation of the technology into school curriculums, Daughetee added.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Texas at Austin, Columbia University, the Oregon Graduate Institute and the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, Calif. also received grants from Intel.

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