<p>The NBX 100 is an excellent example of what can be done with converged data and voice. With a single compact server plugged into a LAN, IP-based feature phones can be plugged in anywhere else on the network. Basically, that's all it takes for installation. The existing network can be used, in most situations, to add very sophisticated telephony services without separate or additional cabling. (Existing phone wiring can be abandoned or put to other uses.)</p>

However, more than half the companies polled said they have no method in place to determine the success of their e-business programs, and less than a sixth regard themselves as cutting edge in e-business innovations.”

Part of the rationale behind LCS was to allow OEMs such as Cisco Systems the ability to upgrade switch fabrics without affecting their line-card software, Swahn said. Likewise, systems vendors could concentrate on adding differentiating features to their line cards while pushing much of the complex work to PMC-Sierra's switch fabric.

If the switch fabric and the line cards are indeed kept in separate racks, then an extra step is required: an array of Gigabit Ethernet serializer/deserializers driving vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) are needed to pump data onto a fiber-optic cable. These are all existing parts and can provide a reach of 250 feet, Swahn said.

FM4MMB8075M_Datasheet PDF

Otherwise, the entire TT1 architecture could reside in a one-rack system along with line cards, Swahn said.

Running traffic in both directions at full capacity, the TT1 architecture can handle 320 Gbits/s of data, PMC officials said. In comparison, Cisco's largest router, the GSR12000, handles only 25 Gbit/s in an apples-to-apples comparison,” Swahn said. And the M160 router that Juniper Networks announced at the end of March — and trumpeted for outdoing Cisco's box — handles 80 Gbits/s.

TT1 actually evolved from a terabit-switch project at Stanford University that was the basis of startup Abrizio Inc., which was acquired by PMC-Sierra in August. Despite being a semiconductor firm, PMC-Sierra continued work on the system-level project, and has licensed the resulting reference design to a number of customers, Swahn said.

FM4MMB8075M_Datasheet PDF

Our [design] flow was basically that of a box company,” he said.

The chips in question are all CMOS. Exotic materials such as silicon germanium or gallium arsenide wouldn't pay off here, Swahn said. You get a one-time improvement of 2.5x, then you're riding Moore's Law,” he said, but the bandwidth requirements for these chips is expected to continue to outpace Moore's Law.

FM4MMB8075M_Datasheet PDF

SANTA CLARA, CALIF. — Emulation Technology has begun marketing a line of ball-grid-array (BGA) and chip-scale-package (CSP) prototyping adapters, enabling designers to add 1.27-mm, 1-mm and 8-mm pitch BGAs to their prototype breadboards.

For testing, designers plug the adapter onto a prototyping board with a 2.54-mm center grid, then surface-mount the IC. Extra jumper pads are included on both sides for custom wiring and additional circuitry. The adapter can also be used as a test socket. The BGA prototyping adapter minimizes trace lengths and adapter height, resulting in high-speed performance, according to the company.

Although using slightly different strategies, both VerticalNet and PartMiner plan to Webify” their broker revenues, or, in other words, create an online marketplace for electronic components and computer products.

VerticalNet plans to create an Internet Web site that takes the inefficiencies out of matching buyers and sellers. Historically, brokers would find buyers and sellers of pre-owned product or excess inventory through phone calls, fax, and e-mails. By Webifying” this process, sellers can list their excess inventory and buyers can make bids in one place, removing some of the inefficiencies from the process. VerticalNet will take a listing fee and transaction fee for its services.

PartMiner is creating the Free Trade Zone,” which is targeted at making the purchasing of an entire bill of materials more efficient. Purchasing managers using the Free Trade Zone” will be able to send RFQs (requests for quotes] to their three primary suppliers for every product simultaneously. If the primary suppliers don't have the product available, PartMiner steps in and fills the order from its vast array of industry contacts. What may have taken the purchasing manager several days to a week to complete in the old economy may only take an hour or two in the new economy.

To fight these Internet companies looking to encroach on their turf, bricks and mortar” distributors such as Arrow, Avnet, and Pioneer-Standard-which are normally fierce competitors-have recently joined forces to create ChipCenter, the franchised distributor's answer to Internet purchasing. ChipCenter's goal is to consolidate demand creation, fulfillment, and e-commerce transactions in one seamless service and eventually provide real-time, online technical seminars and product simulations targeted at the engineering community on behalf of their suppliers. In addition to ChipCenter, Arrow and Avnet have invested in QuestLink, a Web site geared toward the engineering community, and Viacore, a Web site focusing on supply-chain management. Independently, the distributors have other Internet investments as well.

Here we go again. AT&T just announced that it would phase out Cingular, and reclaim the wireless brand. I know that there was a wealth of dissatisfaction with the old AT&T Wireless but let me tell you–I loved them. They were the only company able to provide cell phone service at my old Felton, CA home. Perched high (but not high enough), and facing a box canyon, until I tried AT&T Wireless–nothing worked. Then, naturally, in 2004 when AT&T went away and Cingular took over, there went my phone.

Services are not selling all that well anyway so that may be the reason carriers are taking a wait-and-see attitude while the market for services slowly grows. No one has found the legendary killer app for services. Mobile TV might fill the bill, especially for video that is produced for smaller screens (the screens will be getting larger too, of course).

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