Setting new standards for broadband Internet

Apr 28, 2005

The market for broadband Internet services is expanding rapidly as the advantages of high speed connections are becoming apparent to end users. Companies all over the world are competing to feed this demand by developing faster and more integrated chip sets for existing standards while, at the same time, defining the next generation.

There are currently an estimated 32 million subscribers worldwide for ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) that uses the standard twin copper wires of the phone network to carry digital information. This figure is growing rapidly and industry is developing the next innovation to bring even faster broadband connection to Europe's homes, schools and offices.

A huge investment was made historically to build up the copper phone network, even though voice communications only use a tiny amount of the potential bandwidth. The partners in MEDEA+ project A106 INCA (Integrated Network Copper Access) are exploiting this available bandwidth to provide an even faster broadband technology that could carry innovative digital services. In doing so, they have become world leaders.

VDSL (very high speed digital subscriber line) is seen by many as the next step in providing a complete home-communications/entertainment package. "It provides an incredible amount of bandwidth, with speeds up to about 52 Mbps (megabits per second) compared with 8 to 10 Mbps for ADSL," says INCA project leader, Dr Christope Del-Toso of French chipmaking partner STMicroelectronics.

For the end user, this means faster, cheaper and more reliable Internet access, making services such as e-commerce, interactive TV and video-on-demand possible.

Competitive edge

INCA partners STMicroelectronics and Alcatel Electronics have become world market leaders by defining and establishing a new standard for VDSL. They campaigned closely together for its adoption. When it was accepted in 2003, the partners had gained a competitive edge.

According to the partners, it was vital to be involved at the early stage of a new standard, not only for the partners but also so that Europe can compete with the USA and Asia in the global market.

"If Europe cannot compete on low-end products because of higher labour costs compared with other regions of the world, it needs to be very competitive with high added-value products, and innovation is the only way to achieve this," says Del-Toso. "EUREKA MEDEA+ projects that bring together big companies, SMEs and universities to produce products close to the market must be the way forward."

The EUREKA Cluster MEDEA+ (2001-2008) focuses on enabling technologies for the Information Society and aims to make Europe a leader in system innovation on silicon. Twelve partners from six countries were involved in INCA, completing an estimated 165 person-years of R&D with a total budget of 29 million Euros.

Source: EUREKA

Explore further: The state of shale

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Two robots, one challenge, endless possibility

Dec 11, 2014

To the theme song of "2001: A Space Odyssey," a robot with a twisty spine rolled toward Thomas Rosenbaum, the new president of the California Institute of Technology, on Oct. 24, as he stood on a stage at ...

Big Data infrastructure for science

Dec 05, 2014

Big Data comes naturally to science. Every year, scientists in every field, from astronomy to zoology, make tremendous leaps in their ability to generate valuable data.

Video games, e-commerce booming in Mideast: study

Nov 19, 2014

Video game and e-commerce markets are growing "exponentially" across the Middle East and North Africa, driven by the mobile revolution and new youth-produced content, according to a study.

Apple CEO Tim Cook says Apple Pay a success

Oct 28, 2014

Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple's new mobile payment system had over 1 million activations in the first three days after it became available, and is now more widely used than any competing payment system.

Recommended for you

The state of shale

29 minutes ago

University of Pittsburgh researchers have shared their findings from three studies related to shale gas in a recent special issue of the journal Energy Technology, edited by Götz Veser, the Nickolas A. DeCecco Professor of Che ...

Coping with floods—of water and data

1 hour ago

Halloween 2013 brought real terror to an Austin, Texas, neighborhood, when a flash flood killed four residents and damaged roughly 1,200 homes. Following torrential rains, Onion Creek swept over its banks and inundated the ...

Fully automated: Thousands of blood samples every hour

1 hour ago

Siemens is supplying automation technology for the longest and one of the most cutting-edge sample processing lines in any clinical laboratory. The line, or automation track, 200 meters long, in Marlborough, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.