Synoptics Communications Inc, the local area network equipment company spun out by Xerox Corp from its Palo Alto Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, has won agreements with Novell Inc, Western Digital Corp and the US Federal government. With Novell, Synoptics has signed a technology licence agreement to integrate Synoptics’ Lattisnet transceiver chip onto the Novell NT2000 network interface card. The agreement removes the need for transceiver hardware and cabling and is expected to lower cost per Ethernet twisted pair connection for Novell customers by about $9 , claims Novell. The VLSI transceiver chip replaces the external transceiver function in the Lattisnet configuration. Using this technology, Novell will provide twisted-pair, 10Mbps Ethernet functions directly on the network interface. The NT2000 is $595 per single unit and will be shipped by both Novell and Synoptics in the fourth quarter. A software driver for NetWare V.2.1 and above is included with the board.
Lattisnet is a physical layer implementation of 10Mbps Ethernet over a variety of non-coaxial cabling media, including fibre optic, telephone wire and IBM shielded twisted pair, configured in a hierarchical star topology.
Under the agreement with Western Digital, Irvine, California, the Synoptics transceiver will be incorporated into a version of Western Digital’s EtherCard Plus network interface card for the gamut of XT and AT bus micros and like Novell, Western will now be able to offer its customers unshielded twisted pair connections directly on the network interface card via an on board RJ-45 connector and the EtherCard Plus for unshielded twisted pair local area networks costs $500.
And over in Washington, Synoptics has won a Federal Supply Schedule Contract with the General Services Administration to provide the federal government with LattisNet products. The state procurement body negotiated an umbrella agreement valid until April 1989 which enables government agencies to buy standard LattisNet products at a 12.5% discount.