View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
January 17, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Sun Microsystems Inc hopes to steal some of the market for band-aid Ethernet and Unix-based Asynchronous Transfer Mode systems from the specialised hub and router manufacturers with new high-speed networking adaptors to be launched today, Tuesday. Sun is striking out with a 100Mbps SunFastEthernet board at $800, and a 155Mbps SunATM adaptor at $1,000. The FastEthernet comes on a single, wide SBus board, and offers 100Mbps and 10Mbps autosensing functionality over Category 5 unshielded wiring, initially via external third party transceivers, providing Ethernet users with a potential ten-fold performance at twice the price of standard 10Mbps Ethernet, Sun claims. It complies with the 100Mbps Ethernet technology specifications developed by the Fast Ethernet Alliance, which uses 3Com Corp’s CSMA/CD, IEEE 802.3-compliant mechanism. Initially unbundled for Solaris 2.3 with additional device drivers, it will be fitted as standard from 1995 on a slew of machines and could be retro-fitted to work with SunOS.


For multimedia wannabees, as opposed to straight data network users for whom FastEthernet is, it says, adequate, Sun is replacing the largely failed FDDI high-speed data traffic concept with SunATM. The 155Mbps Sbus board supports multimode fibre at $1,300 – Category 5 unshielded twisted pair at $1,000. It uses Sun’s Segmentation And Reassembly data packaging technology aligned with the CCITT-endorsed ATM Adaption Layer 5. Importantly, Sun is hoping to spawn a third party market, using its technology to drive Asynchronous Transfer along. It is making its specs available and has signed a major semiconductor house, which will be offering versions of the Sun-devised ATM chip it will take to the market. Sun compares its ATM offering with IBM Corp’s expected 25Mbps, $1,200 and 100Mbps – $3,000, Asynchronous Transfer boards, although Sun admits that in 1994 ATM won’t be for the faint-hearted, and that if it happens it will happen in 1995. Sun claims it won’t be eating its children and that the two systems can coexist: it sees 100Mbps served by Ethernet, over 100Mbps as potential Asynchronous Transfer sites. If the latter takes off, Sun will offer 622Mbps and 2.4Gbps working – at the moment only supercomputer users could hope to take advantage of bandwidths like these, and there are many more system bottlenecks that must be resolved beforehand.

Content from our partners
Scan and deliver
GenAI cybersecurity: "A super-human analyst, with a brain the size of a planet."
Cloud, AI, and cyber security – highlights from DTX Manchester

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.