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PR: Agere Systems introduces ADSL chipset for Linux

Jan 16, 2001, 07:00 (5 Talkback[s])

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PRESS RELEASE -- Agere Systems, formerly known as the Microelectronics Group of Lucent Technologies, announced an Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) chip set offering for residential gateway, home networking, and personal computer (PC) equipment that includes the software required to work with the Linux operating system.

Manufacturers of residential gateway, home networking, and PC equipment are using the Linux operating system because of its low licensing fees and its open software code architecture, which promotes interoperability among different systems and appliances.

Massachusetts-based Ucentric Systems will use the new Agere Systems' offering in the company's hardware reference design, which is available to original equipment manufacturers designing home networking products.

"Ucentric is the first to offer a Linux-based home networking solution that's available today," said Rick Edson, chief executive officer of Ucentric Systems. "We have chosen Agere Systems' chip set solution for use in our hardware reference design because Agere is ready to offer us support for that platform right now."

Agere Systems' new offering consists of a Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) ADSL network interface card, which is based on one of the company's digital signal processor (DSP) client access chips. This chip, along with two others from Agere, make a complete ADSL solution supporting both Full Rate and Lite high-speed Internet data technologies. Agere Systems' chip set is placed on a network interface card that becomes a network adapter. Linux runs on PC and residential gateway motherboards and communicates with the Agere Systems DSP chip.

By adding support for the Linux operating system to its ADSL chip product offerings, Agere Systems complements its already broad collection of software for operating systems that work with its ADSL modem chips.

"Our customers, such as Ucentric Systems, now have a broader range of operating system choices to meet their DSL gateway needs," said Bob Rango, general manager with Agere Systems. "Linux offers a platform to deliver these features in an open environment and in a cost effective way."

In addition to supporting Linux operating systems, Agere's software supplied with the chip set also offers communications equipment manufacturers several specialized communications functions. Such functions include an adaptation layer for asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), and segmentation and reassembly of ATM packets functions; network protocols including point-to-point protocol (PPP) over Ethernet and ATM; and Internet Protocol over ATM bridging and routing functions. The software also includes an extensive diagnostics tool to help the modem user and the service provider to improve modem connectivity and check the status of ADSL network connections.

Agere's PCI ADSL card has been qualified for use in the Interoperability Showcase sponsored by the DSL Forum at last week's CES event. To qualify, customer premises equipment solutions had to prove interoperability with Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer (DSLAM) equipment manufactured by a wide variety of companies.

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