The first draft of the Future I/O specification, backed by vendors including Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Cisco Systems, was made available at the recent Future I/O conference in Santa Clara, California.
The proposed standard is designed to speed I/O communications in next-generation hardware systems. After a review, the partner companies, under the auspices of the Future I/O alliance, will begin working on the final draft of the specification.
"We're focused on providing the end-to-end solution, providing a foundation for addressing our customers' needs," said Martin Whitaker, research and development manager for enterprise network servers at Hewlett-Packard in California.
The market strength of Future I/O could be a key to helping boost the specification over the rival Intel-promoted technology, Next Generation I/O, according to backers of the specification.
"Future I/O [has] the industry momentum, and it's interesting that Intel's not going with the industry momentum," said Tom Bradicich, director of architecture and design at IBM's Netfinity Server division.
However, the two factions have been trying to work together to iron out differences.
The final draft of the Future I/O specification is expected this fourth quarter.
After that, prototyping and product development will kick in, with complete solutions expected to ship in 2001.
The Future I/O alliance has announced the formation of a special interest group centred around Future I/O. The SIG will be managed by Enterprise Ventures, based in California, which will handle communications with participating companies and related activities.
For more information about Future I/O, go to www.futureio.org.