Attention was on Asynchronous Transfer Mode at the show, as BBN Advanced Communications Inc and Newbridge Networks Inc gave product demonstrations and K-Net Ltd announced that it is to distribute US company Fore Systems Inc’s Asynchronous Transfer Mode switch. The BBN switch is based around a bus-less, or switch matrix, architecture, which the company’s managing […]
Attention was on Asynchronous Transfer Mode at the show, as BBN Advanced Communications Inc and Newbridge Networks Inc gave product demonstrations and K-Net Ltd announced that it is to distribute US company Fore Systems Inc’s Asynchronous Transfer Mode switch. The BBN switch is based around a bus-less, or switch matrix, architecture, which the company’s managing director, Communications Division, for Europe, said has two advantages over more traditional designs. A busless architecture means there’s no single point of failure, and with a bus-based design you’re restricted by the speed of the bus he said. The switch, provisionally named Emerald, can support 155Mbps at each of its user or trunk interface points. The Network Processor controls network configuration, establishes port and trunk interface parameters, sets up virtual connections, allocates resources, detects and recovers faults and maintains management information. Edge boards support interfaces to a series of data and non-data equipment which means, says Cordell, that any current voice, data or video interface can be mapped to Asynchronous Transfer Mode. Our strategy is not to say to the user ‘throw your existing kit away’ but that the best thing to do is to deploy Asynchronous Transfer Mode above the existing layers of network management so you can migrate existing applications into Asynchronous Transfer Mode software, he said. Emerald is currently undergoing Beta test and is expected to be available in the first quarter of next year. Meanwhile Newbridge Networks, which in October signed a deal with Canada’s MPR Teltech Ltd to work together on Asynchronous Transfer Mode products, has demonstrated its 36150 MainStreet ATMNet Switch. This has a similar design to BBN’s, and is also based around a switch matrix architecture. James Michaels, Newbridge’s assistant vice-president of network planning, said this makes it truly scalable. A bus-based architecture is limited in the overall data it can handle. For example, take the Adaptive switch. Even though they use the word scalable, it isn’t. Once you use a particular bus, you’re limited by that bus speed, he said. He said the 36150 can be configured from 620Mbps to 10Gbps. Michaels said the product is available now, and that a low-end eight-port configuration, including interfaces, will cost less than $12,000 per port. Finally, Yately, Surrey-based K-Net announced that it has become a distributor for the ForeRunner ASX-100 Asynchronous Transfer Mode switch. The ASX-100 is claimed to support up to 16 Asynchronous Transfer Mode connections, each of operating at 100Mbps.