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FORE SYSTEMS: STATEMENT OF DIRECTION -- UNSHIELDED TWISTED PAIR AND SONET/SDH SUPPORT FOR ATM ADAPTERS

 PITTSBURGH, Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Fore Systems said today it plans to enhance its line of ATM adapters to include support for unshielded twisted pair and SONET/SDH physical layer interfaces.
 Currently, the broad line of ForeRunner ATM adapters (for Sun, DEC, Silicon Graphics, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, EISAbus and VMEbus computers) support the 100 Mbits/sec (4B/5B) ATM Forum User Network Interface (UNI) specification and the 140 Mbits/sec speed using fiber optic interfaces.
 Advancements in the area of both copper-based physical interfaces for ATM, and higher speed SONET chip sets, will allow Fore Systems to supply these products to the market. ATM is unique in its ability to support a broad range of physical media types and interface speeds, unlike fixed-speed, shared media Ethernet, Token Ring and FDDI LAN technologies.
 The flexible nature of the ForeRunner ATM adapter architecture allows for simplified engineering of new physical layer interfaces as they emerge. Customers of the 200-series ATM adapter products, which utilize the Advanced Cell Processing Architecture, will be able to upgrade to different physical layers as they are available, preserving the majority of their initial investment.
 Twisted Pair
 As more users require the unique benefits of ATM, the availability of a broad-reaching, low-cost media is essential. Supporting twisted pair media will allow Fore Systems to satisfy the needs of this greatly expanded user base who require higher speed, multimedia-ready, dedicated bandwidth with a guaranteed QoS (Quality of Service). These features are not supported in today's shared media local area network technologies.
 Recent submissions by industry vendors and work within the ATM Forum have resulted in twisted pair recommendations (UTP and STP) which will allow many customers to use their installed copper wiring plant. Fore plans to support both the lower speed voice grade UTP-3 (unshielded twisted pair) specification, and the high speed 155 Mbit/sec, data grade UTP-5/STP specification once they are ratified by the ATM Forum. Products will reach the market by the first half of 1994.
 SONET/SDH
 The SONET/SDH UNI specification, which calls for a 155 Mbits/sec data rate using OC-3c/STM-1 framing, is currently part of the ATM UNI. Recently available chips will allow Fore Systems to incorporate this SONET/SDH functionality into its existing ATM adapter product line. Fore has already shipped SONET/SDH functionality with its family of ForeRunner ATM switches, and will use similar technology to provide the adapter features. Multimode fiber will provide the physical media interfaces for the adapters. SONET/SDH adapter products will be available starting at the beginning of 1994.
 Technical note: the SONET hierarchy of services is standard within North America, and the SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) standard is deployed throughout the rest of the world. Both standards converge in speed at the 155.52 Mbits/sec data rate. Additional speeds supported within these hierarchies include 622 Mbits/sec and 2.5 Gbits/sec.
 -0- 8/24/93
 /CONTACT: Geri Gleeson, manager, marketing communications, or Mark Juliano, director of product marketing of Fore Systems, 412-967-4040/


CO: Fore Systems, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: CPR SU:

CD-PT -- PG012 -- 5648 08/24/93 20:36 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 24, 1993
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