A privately funded engineering company, XKL LLC explores and develops optical networks for data communications
XKL was launched by Cisco Systems founder Len Bosack. The company has set itself an aggressive mission: to identify problems in emerging network infrastructure even before these obstacles become evident to the Internet community. With this forward-looking approach, XKL provides the solutions necessary for the future growth and development of the communications industry.
XKL’s technical staff members are experts in their fields. They push the limits of technology, tools, and components. They rewrite rules and test the unproven. They take the time to develop innovative solutions to problems that were thought to be intractable.
XKL’s product development programs emphasize architecture, not component technology. The company focuses on engineering for the most complex networks ever deployed. The goal is to provide more automated, more dynamically responsive approaches for network traffic management than current techniques.
Bringing fundamental change to worldwide telecommunications
As CEO of XKL, LLC, a leading provider of optical networking equipment, Leonard Bosack continues to drive technology innovation in his quest to bring fundamental change to worldwide telecommunications. Mr. Bosack co-founded Cisco Systems in 1986 and is largely responsible for pioneering the widespread commercialization of local area network (LAN) technology to connect geographically disparate computers over a multiprotocol router system. While commonplace today, this technology was unheard of at the time Mr. Bosack perfected his first viable router in the mid-1980s.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Bosack held significant technical leadership roles at AT&T Bell Labs (now part of Alcatel-Lucent) and Digital Equipment Corporation. He earned a masters degree in computer science from Stanford University, where he went on to become director of computer facilities for the university’s computer science department. While at Stanford, Mr. Bosack was a key contributor to the emerging network technology driven by the U.S. Department of Defense known as the ARPAnet that was the genesis of today's Internet. Using his growing expertise in networking, he and a team of fellow staff members successfully linked the university’s 5,000 computers across a 16-square-mile campus area, overcoming incompatibility challenges to create the first true LAN system.
On the heels of this success, Mr. Bosack and his partner, Sandra Lerner, co-founded Cisco Systems in the late 1980s. In its first month alone, Cisco landed contracts worth more than $200,000 and the pair worked tirelessly for the next year to grow the demand for its products. Through their collective technical genius, the company continued to dominate the marketplace with revolutionary technology such as the first multiport router-specific line cards and sophisticated routing protocols. This technical foundation still persists at Cisco and throughout the Internet today.
Mr. Bosack’s most recent technological advancements include creating new in-line fiber optic amplification systems that can achieve unprecedented data transmission latency speeds of just 6.071 milliseconds (fiber plus equipment latency) over 1231 kilometers of fiber – roughly the distance between Chicago and New York City. This milestone underscores Mr. Bosack’s firm belief that by leveraging the inherent, but often untapped, physics of fiber optic components, data transmission speeds can be increased with devices that use less power, less space and require less cooling.
A Legacy of Innovation
XKL is led by Len Bosack, the co-founder of Cisco. Len is the 2009 recipient of IEEE Computer Society’s prestigious Computer Entrepreneur Award for founding Cisco Systems and pioneering and advancing the commercialization of routing technology and the profound changes this technology enabled in the computer industry.
In its earliest days, XKL successfully built a compact, modern replacement for a massive mainframe computer system that had gone out of production. Many of these systems were deployed in key support roles, suggesting a need for a more modern platform as a migration path.
For XKL, the challenge at the time was to find a mainstream usage for a totally new technology: a platform with a desktop-sized footprint, but incorporating technology that would bring the system into the 21st century.
The resulting product represented a major technological breakthrough. The system exceeded all design goals and came equipped with such things as a modern disk subsystem and what was, at the time, the industry’s fastest backplane.
Beyond its primary objective, this first-generation product served two important roles: it provided spring board technology that could lead to today’s innovations, and it enabled XKL to gather a highly talented core technical team that has developed today’s DWDM product suite.
With the successful completion of its first product, XKL turned its attention to the Data and telecommunications industry. By applying the same skills and technology to network architectures, the company has released for general availability utility-grade products to support the Internet.
Incorporating the latest and best opto-physics Design Principles
XKL’s guiding philosophy is to develop products that utilize ‘best of breed’ off the shelf components in a novel way. XKL’s DarkStar product suite is a group of value driven products that more than measure up in today’s networking environment and adhere to a systems oriented vision of a more reliable and robust Internet.
At the earliest stages of product development, XKL engineers perform extensive network modeling, develop a comprehensive architecture, settle on a specific implementation of that architecture, and most importantly validate that implementation through exhaustive simulation.