NEC Develops High-Speed Home Network Chip

TOKYO (08/03/2000) - Claiming a world first, NEC Corp. announced Wednesday it has developed a prototype switching chip for use in future high-speed domestic multimedia networks.

Designed for use on networks based on the IEEE1394 specification, which is fast becoming the standard for home networking of consumer electronics equipment, the new LSI (large scale integrated circuit) chip can support hardware routing between two different IEEE1394 networks, allowing networks to be interconnected.

The two-port chip also features firmware that provides automatic network configuration, enabling it to work together with other such devices to allow multiple networks to be bridged, support for wireless networking systems that can allow the network to extend beyond one room, and fiber-optic transmission systems that can extend the network's range to a distance as great as 1 kilometer.

The IEEE1394 standard, which is closely based on Apple Computer Inc.'s Firewire standard, enables high speed data transfer at up to 400M bps (bits per second) and plug-and-play functionality. IEEE 1394 ports already are being installed in some devices, especially camcorders and videocassette recorders.

NEC, in Tokyo, can be found online at http://www.nec.co.jp/.

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