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Lawrence Roberts Announced Flow Router

A router design that promises to change the way traffic is handled on the Internet has been announced by the Internet pioneer Lawrence Roberts. People familiar with the new Flow Router said Roberts’ system is a novel and promising approach to a well-known problem, but his startup, Anagran Inc. (Redwood City, Calif.), faces hurdles gaining market traction for it.

Today’s routers generally handle traffic as individual packets of data. Many add-on systems are emerging that try to understand and manage larger groups of related packets, called flows, that could be part of the same voice call or video stream.

Routing traffic at the level of flows is the right approach for today’s Net, where video and voice are becoming increasingly important, said Roberts, who led the design of a government packet network that became the basis for the Internet.

“We would have liked to manage traffic as flows from the beginning because it is only natural to treat video, images and voice calls as one object, but we didn’t have enough memory or processing power,” said Roberts, who also wrote one of the first e-mail applications. “Now memory is cheap as mud.”

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Internet, Network, Networking, Router, Flow Router, Internet Traffic, Network Traffic, Lawrence Roberts, Hardware, Devices

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