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July 9, 1990

DEC STORMS TO TWO-YEAR LEAD OVER IBM IN FDDI STAKES…

By CBR Staff Writer

DEC has moved ahead of IBM in the local area networking world, coming early to market with a full set of Fibre Distributed Data Interface networking products, something IBM can’t promising before 1992 (CI No 1,455), and expanded its Enterprise Management Architecture. The products, which use a DEC-designed FDDI chip set licensed to chipmakers such as Motorola Inc (CI No 1,266), include an FDDI bridge, concentrator and controller, and software to manage Ethernet and FDDI local net devices from a single network management station. The DECconcentrator 500 supports direct connection of systems, workstations or bridges to the FDDI’s dual-ring backbone and costs UKP11,100 fully configured. The DECbridge 500 is an intelligent hardware, multi-protocol device which interconnects FDDI with existing Ethernet networks, transparently translating network data packets between FDDI and 802.3 Ethernet networks: it costs UKP18,500. And DEC’s FDDIcontroller 700, out by the end of the year, will support direct connection of DEC’S Ultrix-based DECstation 5000 range. DECelms network management software is a tool for managing both Ethernet and FDDI networks from a single station, and costs UKP1,753. DEC has been working on the 100Mbps timed token-passing technology for six years: the American National Standards Institute has now ratified the physical medium-dependent, physical layer protocol and media access control components of the FDDI standard, and is expected to complete the final station management component by early 1991. DEC and others are using an intermediate version of SMT expected to be compatible with the final standard.

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