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Servers to speed up browsing

Compaq says its Acceleration Server technology will deliver speedy Web content to Internet users while driving its server sales to ISPs.

Compaq Computer (CPQ) says it has a new technology that delivers speedy Web content to business and home Internet users and will propel its efforts to sell PC servers to Internet service providers.

The company says it has developed technology that will help Web pages load onto computers two to three times faster than current modem-based technology but doesn't require an upgrade to more expensive Internet connections. The technology "tackles the Internet's thorniest problem: poor response time for World Wide Web browsing," the company said.

Compaq says the Acceleration Server technology, which was jointly developed by Integrated Computing Engines, is a combination of hardware and proprietary software that compresses graphics more quickly than the software-only technologies currently employed.

Compaq says using the technology could give ISPs a service that would improve the performance of videoconferencing, video streaming, and telephony. Offering these services with performance improvements could attract customers to ISPs, the company claims.

To take advantage of the increased performance, end users would need to download a Web browser plug-in. The Acceleration Server might be located at the ISP's main site or at a corporation's headquarters.

When a user asks for a Web page, the request is passed from the Acceleration Server to the server that holds the content. When the content server sends the information to the Acceleration Server, images are compressed on the fly and sent to the Web browser. There, images and other information are decompressed with special algorithms.

The company did not say when the technology might be made available.