Geekspeak: December 18, 2000

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2000-12-18

Tiny Node Could Make Connections

In director Stanley Kubricks prescient "2001: A Space Odyssey," Kubrick and collaborator Arthur C. Clarke envisioned a spacecraft the length of a football field with a master computer that knew the condition of every system on board. Any engineer would wonder if the wiring for all those sensors made up most of the spacecrafts mass. However, Ipsil, of Cambridge, Mass., is right on Kubrick and Clarkes timetable with its under-$1 TCP/IP chip that could put hordes of consumer and industrial devices on streamlined, IP-based networks.

Born of a graduate students attempt to break a Guinness world record for the smallest such device, Ipsils FlowStack architecture implements a TCP/IP node in a mere 5,000 gates (the basic building blocks of an application-specific integrated circuit). Ipsil founder Shri Shrikumar deployed the worlds smallest Web server in June 1999. Shrikumar expects to deliver FlowStack development kits before years end, with silicon implementation by the third quarter of next year. More information is available at

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