Please note that JavaScript and style sheet are used in this website,
Due to unadaptability of the style sheet with the browser used in your computer, pages may not look as original.
Even in such a case, however, the contents can be used safely.

  1. Home
  2. Press Releases
  3. NEC’s Next Generation System Hardware Virtualization Technology, ExpEther, Adopted by Nethra Imaging for LSI Development

NEC’s Next Generation System Hardware Virtualization Technology, ExpEther, Adopted by Nethra Imaging for LSI Development

Tokyo, June 09, 2009 - NEC Corporation announced today the initial implementation of its ExpEther technology in a standard VLSI product from Nethra Imaging, Inc. (Hereinafter: Nethra) that is expected to be completed and released by the end of 2009. Nethra is a member of the ExpEther consortium (Chairman: Professor Hideharu Amano, Keio University), which was established in November 2008 in order to build an eco-system among universities, software, system developers and component suppliers, and currently includes 22 organizations worldwide.

ExpEther is a unique interconnection technology which uses standard Ethernet to enhance scalability, reliability and virtualization capability of PCI Express, while still working as a PCI Express standard-compliant switch as specified by PCI-SIG.

(1) ExpEther transparently extends the maximum working distance of PCI Express from meters to kilometers.
(2) ExpEther works with commercially available PCI Express system software and I/O devices.
(3) Unlike TCP/IP or other network-based systems, ExpEther provides high performance reliable data transfer with little or no impact to the host CPU.
(4) By leveraging grouping/partitioning functions implemented in the MAC/VLAN layer, ExpEther provides I/O virtualization capability without having to replace existing systems.

Since NEC’s initial demonstration of the ExpEther technology in 2006 utilizing Altera and Xilinx based FPGA platforms, a wide range of organizations throughout a broad array of industries have expressed a great deal of interest in the technology.

In October 2008, NEC and Inventure Inc., also a member of the ExpEther consortium, performed compliance testing on ExpEther at the PCI-SIG Plugfest. ExpEther passed the SIG interoperability tests with system and device vendors, which resulted in ExpEther’s introduction to the PCI-SIG integrators list. The compliance test’s evaluation kit, which Inventure released in April 2009, was implemented in an FPGA.

Nethra’s commitment to develop ExpEther-based VLSI products for general release is a significant milestone for the widespread use of this technology. Mr. Ramesh Singh, CEO of Nethra said, “Nethra is focused on processing signal chain data, with a special emphasis on medical, broadcast and other high data-rate applications where we have developed numerous silicon and system solutions. ExpEther is the ideal technology for us in high-end applications, where its low-latency and high-bandwidth data transfer capability is very attractive and has generated strong customer interest. Nethra is proud to be the first company to implement ExpEther technology in a standard VLSI product. We are currently in the design phase, which will lead to the release of a sample chip in the 4th quarter of calendar 2009.”

NEC continues to develop and enhance ExpEther technology, resulting in new functions and higher performance that will be applied in future ICT systems, and to promote the technology’s widespread adoption towards becoming a global standard.

NEC will demonstrate ExpEther at INTEROP Tokyo 2009, held in Makuhari Messe from June 10 to 12.

This work was partly supported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC).

About Nethra Corporation
Nethra Imaging is a fabless semiconductor company focused on delivering imaging and video solutions for a wide range of applications in the broadcast, medical, surveillance and military markets. The company uses proprietary algorithms to build flexible, fully programmable image processors and related products. Located in Santa Clara, California, Nethra is privately-held and since its inception in 2003, has developed scalable image processing solutions for a variety of video and multimedia applications. For more information, visit

About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation is one of the world's leading providers of Internet, broadband network and enterprise business solutions dedicated to meeting the specialized needs of a diversified global base of customers. NEC delivers tailored solutions in the key fields of computer, networking and electron devices, by integrating its technical strengths in IT and Networks, and by providing advanced semiconductor solutions through NEC Electronics Corporation. The NEC Group employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. For additional information, please visit the NEC website at:  

About ExpEther Consortium

ExpEther Consortium is an organization which promotes next-generation interconnection technologies that are used in a variety of systems, including servers, PCs, network equipment, embedded systems and others. Members of the consortium represent a wide range of industries and academic institutions, such as FPGA/PLD vendors, SOC/ASSP vendors, ASIC/FPGA/PLD Design and IP suppliers, system/board developers, as well as hardware and software researchers. For additional information, please visit the website at:  

NEC is a registered trademark of NEC Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Other product or service marks mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners. ©2009 NEC Corporation.

NEC Press Contacts (Japan):
Kazuhito Ooto
NEC Corporation

Joseph Jasper
NEC Corporation

NEC Press Contact (Asia):
Desiree Lim
NEC Asia
+65 6379 2571