Gaming startup aims to eliminate lag with $4m

Jennie Lees
J. Lees|03.07.06

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Gaming startup aims to eliminate lag with $4m
Gaming startup aims to eliminate lag with $4m
Bigfoot Networks is a startup that's recently obtained $4 million in venture capital funding. Founded by MBA students, the company has a grand ambition--to eliminate lag in online gaming by a vague-sounding "Network Gaming Accelerator" card.

The card will be on show at E3, where curious journos can fire piercing questions such as "So what does it actually do?", but until then we'll have to speculate. According to FORTUNE Small Business, the card "communicates with servers, downloading some of the processes that they perform online and allowing them to run faster". However, according to Bigfoot Networks' own white paper on lag, the majority of the bottlenecks involved in lag are client-side and server-side CPU limitations--not network latency.

The paper's references to latency spikes and packet loss imply that Bigfoot Network's magic solution to lag might involve creating a dedicated network processor (offloading network-related load from the client CPU), allowing the TCP/IP stack to be specifically tuned for low, consistent latency. However, as Greg Costikyan points out, games are designed to allow for network transmission delays--it might only be a product that appeals to gamers for whom every millisecond counts.

[Thanks, Probot]
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