Indian Companies Team on DSL Application

BANGALORE, INDIA (03/13/2000) - The Telecommunications and Computer Networks Group (TeNet) of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Madras has introduced DSL (digital subscriber line) technology for simultaneous voice and Internet access.

Based in Chennai in southern India, IIT Madras, one of India's leading educational institutions, has teamed up with local companies to develop solutions in telecommunications and broadband access.

"Widespread telephone and Internet is a must for the development of the country," said Ashok Jhunjhunwala, professor and head of the electrical engineering department of IIT Madras. "We are working on developing cost-effective access network solutions."

The group has a powerful partner in semiconductor vendor Analog Devices Inc.

Besides providing the processor support, including specially designed silicon for the solutions developed by IIT Madras, Analog Devices also markets the licenses for the IIT Madras designs to OEM companies outside India. IIT Madras and its partner companies have a license revenue sharing agreement with Analog Devices for design wins outside India.

For Analog Devices, software solutions around its silicon help sell its silicon, particularly its DSP (digital signal processing) products.

"These days it is solutions that sells silicon like DSPs," said Mikhael Haidar, general manager of Analog Devices' Software and Systems Technology division.

Haidar's division has tied up with a number of Indian companies to deliver software algorithms for applications as varied as tapeless answering machines, GIS (geographic information system) systems, and even ready-to-manufacture products like videophones.

"Besides our silicon, we bring market expertise, and we can also help the Indian company gain access to OEMs abroad who will license and manufacture these products," added Haidar.

India's Department of Telecommunications and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd., both Indian- government controlled communications service providers, are already doing pilot runs with IIT Madras' DSL solution.

"Our DSL solution supports two data rates, with simultaneous voice and Internet, at 144K-bps (bits per second) and 2M-bps," said Shirish B. Purohit, director of Midas Communication Technologies Pvt. Ltd, one of the companies partnering IIT Madras. The DSL technology, said Jhunjhunwala, is thus targeted at both SOHO (small office home office) and residential users, as well as large corporate customers that may require the higher 2M-bps bandwidth.

IIT Madras in tandem with its partner companies is also upgrading its corDECT Wireless Local Loop (WLL) solution to support simultaneous voice and Internet access of up to 384K-bps, with support for 1.0M-bps rates also under development. The WLL is based on the micro-cellular, DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) standard proposed by ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute).

The product has been licensed to telecom equipment manufacturers in India, as well as to Belo Horizonte, Brazil-based engTEL, and Tunis-based Omniacom.

According to Purohit, negotiations for licensing the technology to a Chinese company are in advanced stages.

IIT Madras has also introduced an access center that supports a variety of media, including analog-on-copper, DSL-on-copper, digital wireless, coaxial cable, or even power line to the subscriber.

The access center separates the voice from the Internet traffic, and the voice traffic is sent to a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), while the Internet traffic is statistically multiplexed and sent to the ISP. Purohit said the technologies are targeted at access networks set up by telecom companies and ISPs, particularly in developing countries, as the capital expenditure on deploying these technologies is low.

The TeNet Lab of IIT Madras in Chennai, India can be reached at +91-44-235-2120 or http://www.tenet.res.in. Midas Communication Technologies in Chennai, India, can be reached at +91-44-490-1555 or http://www.tenet.res.in/midas. Analog Devices in Norwood, Massachusetts, can be reached at +1-781-461-3537 or http://www.analog.com.

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