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  1. Technology
June 2, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Telematics International Inc, now a subsidiary of ECI Telecom Ltd of Israel, has introduced what it has termed Universal Network Access capabilities to its ACP family of packet assembler-disassemblers or PADs. It says these enable them to be used with a wide variety of access protocols and network service options, and to combine the functionality of a packet and a frame assembler and disassebler, and an X.25 switch concentrator. The Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company says it introduced the new capabilities in recognition that the economics of using different wide area network services varies from country to country: to this end it claims that wide area network services supported include dial-up BRI-ISDN, Frame Relay, X.25 and IP. On the access side, it says that the ACPs will be compatible with protocols including async, Frame Relay, X.25, Ethernet TCP/IP, legacy protocols such as Systems Network Architecture, or transparently with any bit- or byte-synchronous protocol. Telematics claims that one of the big advantages of the new capabilities is that they enable users to switch protocols and wide area network services without any equipment downtime, to the extent that different wide area network services can be used at different times of day if this proves most economic. Simultaneously, the company announced a new member of the ACP family, which incorporates the new capabilities. Confusingly called the ACP 70 (although it fits between the company’s ACP 10 and ACP 50 models), the product has six embedded input-output ports – two supporting 2Mbps transmission, and four supporting 64Kbps – and an Ethernet port. The base model can be expanded to support a further two ports, says the company. Also incorporated is a PCMCIA slot for software updates (or to increase RAM), and 2Mb of Flash memory. The product is manageable via the company’s new NET 25 SNMP management system, its Unix-based SmartView network management system launched in 1992, or via OMS, the company’s OpenView-based system.

Four-point FlexiCard

The product is due to ship in July, costing from $4,200. Also announced by the company was a new interface board, aimed at network service providers, for its AToM 1E6 Asynchronous Transfer Mode-based switch: the new four-port FlexiCard is said to provide integration of Asynchronous Transfer Mode-UNI, Frame Relay, bitsync and circuit emulation, acting as a digital cross connect to concentrate individual DS0 channels into a T1/E1 trunk. However, the company claims that the FlexiCard has more functionality than a Digital Cross Component, in that it also incorporates all the necessary Asynchronous Transfer Mode functionality, including packet segmentation and reassembly and traffic management. Telematics claims that the board can be configured to support any combination of DS0 channels divided among any number of users, up to the T1 speed, with each node capable of supporting up to 16 boards. Telematics further says that Frame Relay, voice, video, Systems Network Architecture, and X.25 traffic can be simultaneously supported, and that network managers can reconfigure the ports from the network control centre for different service types, according to demand. There is no indication yet of pricing.

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