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Internet Router History
The first Internet Router
In the late 1960s to 1989 Interface Message
Processor (IMP) was the predecessor of the router.
The IMP was the first generation of gateways for
ARPANET (the first packet network ), developed by
Leonard Kleinrock in BBN (link).
For APRANET in 1969, BBN Interface Message
Processor (IMP) did the packet routing.
Honeywell 516 minicomputer inside had only 6,000
words of software (12K core memory), monitored
network status and statistics. Cost: $82,200
The first transmission between UCLA and SRI took
place on October 29, 1969.
Larry Roberts: architect of the Internet.
(It's another cool artifact of history in the
back room, awaiting installation in the new
Computer History Museum exhibition hall.)
Leonard Kleinrock
History of the router
The idea was explored in more detail, with
the intention to produce a prototype system,
as part of two contemporaneous programs.
One was the initial DARPA-initiated program,
which created the TCP/IP architecture in use
The other was a program at Xerox PARC to
explore new networking technologies, which
produced the PARC Universal Packet system,
due to corporate intellectual property concerns it
received little attention outside Xerox for years.
History of the router
ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects
Agency Network) was created by ARPA
of the United States Dept. of Defense
during the Cold War. It was the world’s
first packet switching network.
 The International Network Working
Group (INWG) inspired the idea of the
router in 1972.
History of the router
Some time after early 1974 the first Xerox
routers became operational.
The first IP router was developed by Virginia
Strazisar at BBN Technologies during 19751976.
By the end of 1976, three PDP-11-based routers
were in service in the experimental prototype
The first multiprotocol routers were
independently created in 1981 by William
Yeager at Stanford and by Noel Chiappa at
MIT; both were also based on PDP-11s .
History of the router
Virtually all networking now uses TCP/IP, but
multiprotocol routers are still manufactured.
They were important in the early stages of
the growth of computer networking, when
protocols other than TCP/IP were in use.
Modern Internet routers that handle both
IPv4 and IPv6 are multiprotocol, but are
simpler devices than routers processing
AppleTalk, DECnet, IP, and Xerox protocols.
History of the router
From the mid-1970s and in the 1980s,
general-purpose mini-computers served
as routers.
 Modern high-speed routers are highly
specialized computers with extra
hardware added to speed both common
routing functions, such as packet
forwarding, and specialised functions
such as IPsec encryption.
History of the router
There is substantial use of Linux and Unix
software based machines, running open
source routing code, for research and other
Cisco's operating system was independently
designed. Major router operating systems,
such as those from Juniper Networks,
Huawei Technologies and Extreme Networks,
are extensively modified versions of Unix
Fujitsu GeoStream R980
Diagram of a Router
• The Internet is one giant network composed of thousands of
smaller networks, so the use of routers are needed for faster