ST Microelectronics, Telia develop VDSL chip

French chip manufacturer STMicroelectronics NV (ST) and the research arm of Sweden's Telia AB have created a prototype VDSL (very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line) system in their research labs designed for use in the next generation of digital subscriber line technology.

Called Zipper-VDSL, the chip will eventually be used in VDSL systems that will enable users to access the Internet at speeds up to 60M bits per second over regular copper telephone lines, ST and Telia Research said in a statement Tuesday.

The prototype system is based around a 0.25 micron CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) chip, manufactured by ST and designed in cooperation with France Telecom SA at its research center in Grenoble, France. The two companies expect to produce chips suitable for use in VDSL modems by the beginning of 2001.

VDSL represents the next jump in subscriber line technology, said Richard Stockdill, ST press spokesman. Digital subscriber line (xDSL) technologies use advanced digital signal processing technologies to increase data transmission rates over traditional copper lines.

Many carriers are in the process of equipping their networks with ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) technology. Networks equipped for ADSL will also be able to be upgraded for products based on Zipper-VDSL, because they use the same modulation techniques, Stockdill said.