News Releases


Hitachi And Cisco Form Strategic Alliance To Bring Next-Generation Ip Telephony Technology To Market



Sep 28, 1998 00:00 AM

Companies Embed and Proliferate the Internet With New Products, Applications and Consumer Electronics

Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc., a subsidiary of Hitachi America Ltd., and Cisco Systems Inc. today announced that they have formed a strategic alliance to jointly develop and market a range of scalable, IP telephony reference platforms and related technologies under the umbrella of the Cisco NetWorks Program.

The technologies and reference platforms created by the alliance will be aimed at leading makers of network and Internet appliances (including consumer electronics manufacturers) and will enable high-quality, low-cost voice and data communications via the Internet. The Cisco NetWorks Program is a partnering program designed to accelerate the global availability of a new generation of low-cost, easy-to-use Internet devices that can transparently plug into any IP network.

The Cisco/Hitachi alliance is designed to make the migration to IP telephony easier for the industry and to enable the development of new IP telephony products. IP telephony, or the migration of communications from traditional carrier switched phone lines to digitized packets carried over the Internet, is one of the most-watched developments in the technology industry today.

For instance, a recent survey of 52 large corporations completed by independent research firm Forrester Research found that approximately 40 percent of companies intend to use the Internet for voice or fax in 1999, and nearly 70 percent plan to use it for voice or fax after 2000.

"Cisco's core competency in networking and the strength of Hitachi's SuperH(tm) RISC processor in consumer electronics applications enable this alliance to bring a new generation of high-quality, low-cost IP telephony devices to market," said Kosei Nomiya, chairman of Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc. and board director for Hitachi, Ltd. "Working closely with Cisco, we expect to make SuperH RISC an integral part of the emerging networked future."

"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."

The jointly developed reference platforms will serve as the building blocks used by product designers to quickly and economically integrate IP telephony functions into a wide range of devices such as modems, telephones, set-top boxes, fax machines and other appliances. The platforms will be marketed by both companies and will be based on the integration of Cisco NetWorks Software technologies with Hitachi SuperH(tm) RISC semiconductor technology.

The alliance with Cisco is part of Hitachi's long-term strategy to proliferate the use of its high-performance SuperH RISC microprocessor architecture in the networking arena. For instance, the agreement provides a framework for Hitachi and Cisco to work together to specify and develop next-generation silicon to keep up with fast-growing network performance requirements and to meet the need for highly integrated semiconductor solutions.

This alliance also aligns with Cisco's goal to accelerate the rapid evolution of the global network infrastructure to deliver new Internet-based solutions for business, education and consumer markets. The integration within a scalable reference design of the Hitachi SuperH microprocessor and Cisco's IP technologies allows for the rapid development by Cisco partners of low cost Internet products to support Cisco's customers worldwide deployment of new end-to-end network solutions.

The first commercial reference designs arising from the alliance are expected to be available to developers in the first quarter of 1999. In addition, Hitachi and Cisco are working with other vendors to deliver development tools that are expected to be available in the fourth quarter as well.

The new reference designs will be compatible with existing and future SuperH architectures and will support forthcoming industry telecommunications standards.