Mushroom Networks Uses “Bonding” Technology to Pump More Data Through Bottlenecks

What San Diego’s Mushroom Networks does is something akin to IT alchemy. The company’s technology transforms data rates that trickle into its “black box” device from a variety of Internet connections into a broadband gusher on the other side, for the benefit of all the users on a business intranet or local network.

The technology gives the company a “creative way to go to a client and solve their network problems,” says CEO Cahit Akin, a Turkish-born Ph.D. in electrical engineering who co-founded Mushroom Networks in 2004. He says Mushroom’s Internet appliance offers an alternative in cases where a customer “may be outgrowing their DSL, but the next level of broadband service is too expensive for them.”

CEO Cahit Akin

CEO Cahit Akin

Akin says the company’s proprietary technology, called “broadband bonding,” enables a customer to connect all of the Internet sources that might be available—DSL, cable, T1, wireless, satellite, and MPLS—and combine them into a single, virtual broadband pipe. In effect, Mushroom’s appliance is an endpoint router, what Akin calls a “bonding router,” that takes Internet dross and spins it into the equivalent of broadband service gold.

“And we are accomplishing this without requiring carriers to install any equipment,” Akin says. “That is the core innovation.”

The technology was developed by Rene Cruz, a Mushroom Networks co-founder and professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC San Diego. Cruz is known for his pioneering research in a field called network calculus, which is used to characterize the flow of data through the Internet and other packet-switching networks. Although Akin also worked at UCSD (in the adaptive systems laboratory at Calit2), he tells me he joined the startup from ITU Ventures, a Los Angeles investment firm that provided Mushroom Networks’ initial funding.

But Akin declined to say how … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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