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November 4, 1997updated 01 Sep 2016 5:44pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Pleasant Hill, California-based high speed data-over-copper wire pioneer Tut Systems Inc has signed an agreement with Microsoft Corp, for Microsoft to promote its HomeRun system, a low-cost hardware based system for creating Ethernet networks using existing home phone lines. The HomeRun technology is marketed at the 11 million households with more than one personal computer that want to network machines together to share data, peripherals or an internet connection. The HomeRun system works by creating a standard Ethernet network on home phone wires, at a speed of 1.3Mbps, but using a different physical transmission of the signal. Due to the restrictions on the quality and wiring of copper phone cabling, the system compensates by using a transmission frequency of 2MHz that doesn’t disrupt normal phone traffic and can’t be heard. It also uses Tut’s specially developed TM32 signaling to overcome quality and interference problems. The signals are converted between standard Ethernet and the TM32 protocol by a physical layer chip designed by Tut. Tut is using Microsoft in an effort to publicize the technology, and get PC vendors to take up the technology, in a further effort to get the technology to the mass market it is going to attempt to license the technology to OEMs for small fees. Tut claims that the physical layer will add around $5 to the price of an Network Interface Controller, and envisages that NICs in home PC’s will ship supporting both Ethernet, and its HomeRun variant on the same card, through two different ports. Privately held Tut was founded in 1991, has had two rounds of Venture capital funding, and its main business is the development of Digital Subscriber Line products for the business market, sold via internet service providers and Competitive Local Exchange Carriers, it anticipates revenues of around $10m in the year, and expects the majority of its revenues to still come from its DSL product lines.

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