SAN MATEO (05/30/2000) - In one of the first moves of its so-called Internet Building Block Initiative, Intel Corp. today licensed patented telephony software to Internet telephony exchange carrier ITXC Corp., which will integrate the technology into its global services.
The Intel technology is a combination of acoustic echo canceling and advanced buffering that improves sound quality and reduces latency when making calls from a PC to a phone or to another PC, giving the end-user more of a traditional circuit-switched phone experience.
"We have a patented technology that allows us to measure the latency introduced into the network, then modulate the size of the buffer to compensate for the network latency," said Rabi Bedanayagam, capabilities manager for Intel IT Telephony.
Bedanayagam said buffering problems with other Web telephony offerings interrupt users with clicks and pops during conversations. However, the Intel technology prioritizes speech packets over all other data, spacing out the latency so user hears a more natural sound pattern.
New Jersey-based ITXC provides the Internet infrastructure for Web telephony companies such as DialPad, which recently ramped up over 6 million customers without the use of advertising, according to Mary Evslin, vice president of marketing at ITXC.
ITXC will incorporate the Intel telephony software into its ITXC webtalkNow Service.
"We became interested (in the Intel technology) because of the software points and the ease of customization," Evslin said "(The Intel technology) disappears into the site, taking on the look and feel of the interface."
However, Ed Wadbrook, director of voice solutions for networking vendor 3Com, in Santa Clara, California, feels the Intel technology is nothing new.
"The issue about latency, buffering, and echo cancellation -- those are practices that any software company developing (voice-over-IP) would have to address, and there are continuing advancements coming for this almost daily to allow for richer communication structures to exist," Wadbrook said.
Ron Westfall, a senior analyst with Current Analysis, in Sterling, Virginia, agrees.
"Any packetized IP service simply has to have the fundamental cueing mechanism to make sure that voice is at the front of traffic flow," Westfall said.
Internet Building Block Initiative software solutions that will follow today's announcement will include 3-D graphics and streaming media technology, according to Intel officials.
Intel Corp., based in Santa Clara, California, is at www.intel.com. ITXC Corp., in Princeton, New Jersey, is at www.itxc.com.
Dan Neel is an InfoWorld reporter.