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Mysterious grid computing startup Grid-X is quietly working with the U.S. government to develop a TCP/IP offload engine (TOE) it claims will scale up to 100-Gbit/s Ethernet.

While the firm, based in the Boston area, remains cloaked in secrecy, a source close to the company told Byte and Switch that Grid-X has already lined up beta tests at a U.S. government research lab and a major defense firm.

Don't expect to see many more details anytime soon, though. "Grid-X will be in stealth for a good year," explains the source, who asked not to be named, adding that the firm's TOE technology will be generally available sometime in late 2008.

TOEs reduce the strain on firms servers by assuming some of the throughput burden from microprocessors and I/O subsystems. In the case of Grid-X, the purpose would be to accelerate the speed at which grid computers, clusters, and HPC machines process and deliver data.

The vendor's secret sauce, apparently, comes from a set of algorithms that are being developed to cope with 100-Gbit/s Ethernet networks.

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