3Com Corp is using new Digital Signal Processing cards in its remote access products to enable it to cut prices and maintain its US Robotics division’s lead in the remote access market. In a quarterly report by industry analyst the Dell’Oro group, 3Com/USR has a 34% share of the remote access market ahead of the number two player Ascend Communication Inc’s market share of 29%. 3Com has developed a new HiPer Digital Signaling Processor chipset, that is used in its new remote access concentrator, the Total Control HiPer, that enables double the number ports per card, from the previous 12 to 24, with each DSP processing two incoming lines. The new card has three Power PC 402 processors and 12 Texas Instruments Inc 320C548 DSPs which gives 1,200 MIPS total processing power per card. The cards can also handle any mixture of Primary ISDN, 56 Kbps x2, or V.34 standard modems. Each card either handles a single T-1 link, or a single Primary Rate ISDN link. The European standard E-1 is not due to be supported until the end of the year. 3Com claim that the major advantages to their DSP card is that the DSPs are software upgradeable, which means it can upgrade to future modem standards, and add protocol support for future protocols such as H.323 videoconferencing, voice over IP, data sharing T.120 and Video and Voice compression. The higher port density also gives both size and chip economies across the device. Up to 14 cards can be mounted in each HiPer Access System module, which fits into existing 3Com Total Control Chassis and are also inter-compatible with existing cards. They will be shipping for $11,000 per DSP card in August. The price of a fully configured system and chassis will be $500 per port, according to 3Com, which will be the lowest price per port in the carrier class remote access concentrator market. 3Com plan to use these DSP in other products, such as modems in the future. It also aims to enable its TranscendWare network management and operating system over the whole USR and 3Com range of products. 3Com maintain that their non-USR remote access products, the Access Builder range, still has a role in some niche applications, but these only have a 3% market share.