An array of industry heavyweights have announced their commitment to develop products based on Santa Clara, California-based National Semiconductor Corp’s isoENET isochronous Ethernet networking standard for multimedia communications transport, which was first announced in December 1992. The isoENET technology, which is claimed to be the first networking technology for the transport of real-time interactive data, speech and video over both local and wide area networks, is expected to be approved later this year by the IEEE 802.9 committee. Together with long-term supporters IBM Corp and Apple Computer Inc, Ascom Timeplex Inc, AT&T Microelectronics, Ericsson Business Networks, Microsoft Corp, Pacific Bell Inc, Siemens AG and Zydacron Inc have joined National Semiconductor in support of the technology. A number of the partners demonstrated isoENET’s personal computer video conferencing capabilities across local and wide area networks at the recent CeBIT exhibition in Hannover, Germany. The demonstration featured IBM’s Person to Person personal computer video-conferencing software, Ericsson’s hub and telephony call setup and switching technology, Zydacron’s AT&T-based video compression decompression products, and Microsoft Corp’s Windows NT file server and Windows Telephony Applications Programming Interface – all working over isoENET. Apple Computer Inc also developing network-ready AV computer and system software, which will use isoENET to deliver multimedia traffic to users throughout an enterprise. National Semiconductor claims that commercial isoENET networking products and isoENET-ready personal computers for roughly the cost of a standard personal computer today will be available in the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of next year respectively; field trials will be beginning early this summer. The emerging isoENET technology enables speech and video traffic to be carried over 10Base-T networks by adding an additional 6.144Mbps of isochronous bandwidth to existing 10Mbps 10Base-T Ethernet.
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