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Comms chips

Infineon DSL: Past & Future

4:00 PM -- When Infineon Technologies AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: IFX) acquired the Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN) DSL group recently, it picked up a few museum pieces. Take a look: That's the first-ever DSL linecard -- a one-port card! -- from Amati, the company TI acquired in the stone age (1998). The big cylinders are hand-wound transformers.

That card and other Amati artifacts are destined for display cases in the new Infineon DSL lab, housed in the building next door to the previous lab in Milpitas, Calif. In the shot above, you're looking at rows of DSLAMs from pretty much every vendor. Interoperability is a big deal for the chips, and it's an area where TI, with its longer history, could help Infineon. "TI had an advantage there. They worked with very old DSLAMs," says Imran Hajimusa, Infineon VP of broadband access.

What the former TI business lacked, though, was a roadmap; TI had put the division up for sale after its market share started slipping. With its combined forces, Infineon is hoping to give the competition, especially Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM), a run for its money.

Photos by Agnes Toan of Infineon, because my camera's batteries died.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:45:19 PM
re: Infineon DSL: Past & Future Thanks for the clarification, seven. I'll admit my knowledge of ancient DSL history is spotty.

Note that I'm not saying the Amati card itself is dated 1998; that's just the year the acquisition closed.

Either way, I got a good chuckle out of learning that card was a one-porter.
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:45:19 PM
re: Infineon DSL: Past & Future
Remember the JPC for ADSL was 1996 and there were versions before that.

seven
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:45:18 PM
re: Infineon DSL: Past & Future
The first Alcatel chipsets were 1 port as was the other competing (non-DMT and the name escapes me) standard. I never used the Amati chips (or any from TI either).

Back in 98 we were working with Analog Devices with Aware code. Had some deployed in early trials of what are now called IVD (Integrated Voice/Data) cards at places like South Central Rural Telephone and Valley Telephone.

They were heady days of 1 port cards that cost $500 or more.

seven
chowp 12/5/2012 | 3:45:16 PM
re: Infineon DSL: Past & Future The modem shown was build in late 1992/early 1993 time frame by Amati Communications. Only a handful of these prototype "Prelude" modems were built, and it was the Prelude modem that won the so called "ADSL Olympics" in early 1993 at Bellcore, which resulted in DMT being chosen as the standard linecode for ADSL over other competing linecodes; e.g., CAP and QAM. Technically, what is shown in the picture is not even a 1 port modem. It is only half of a 1 port modem, as it is only the analog portion. There is a corresponding digital portion housed in a separate enclosure.

- PSC
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:45:15 PM
re: Infineon DSL: Past & Future Thanks, PSC.

HALF-port?! Man, you really had to want DSL back then, didn't you.
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