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Infineon sees major changes in communication trends

Posted: 22 Mar 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:broadband communications? wireline? VDSL? Ethernet LAN? QAM?

Continued technology leadership in optical networks with 10Gbps/40Gbps solutions, and increased market penetration in broadband communications with VDSL/10Base-S Ethernet solutions are the targets of Infineon's wireline communications division. "The 40G could not come up because of economic downturn," said Ang Hock Pho, VP of this division. "But now it is poised to grow. In two years 40G solutions should be common."

Ang said that VDSL too would emerge strongly. "Current solution for normal Ethernet LAN offers 100 meters range. Ethernet-over-VDSL will extend the range to 1.2km," he explained. Though such solutions have of late been available in the market, VDSL is still not standardized, which is hampering its growth. "We have an agreement with Metalink to push QAM as an interim solution till VDSL standardization comes about," said Ang. Metalink is a fabless semiconductor company with headquarters in Israel.

VDSL technology allows telecom operators to compete with cable operators by offering bundled broadcast video, high-speed interactive data and voice services. Besides, new business services such as Ethernet and fast Ethernet over existing copper infrastructure can be offered using this technology. QAM technology enables vendors reduce total cost.

Ang believes that the technologies on anvil will enable evolution of LANs into MANs and further into WANs. "More than 85 percent of LANs are Ethernet-based," he explained. "In other words, LAN is already evolving into MANs. 10G will hasten this process. This evolution should mature in one to two years, and in three to five years Gigabit Ethernet should further evolve into WANs.

Tan Weng Kuan, VP, wireless products division, said that Bluetooth will reach a critical mass by the end of 2002, with about 50 million unit products. "Cellular handset will be the main driver of Bluetooth," he said. In 2001, cellular handset production is estimated to have come down from 407 million units in 2000 to 380 million against a projected 550 million. The handset production this year is projected at 420 million units.

Another important trend Tan sees in wireless communications is that "up until now the wireless market has been voice-driven, but soon data will become the main driver."

Tan foresees that GPRS will take off significantly in 2003, followed by UTMS in 2004 to 2005.

? Kirtimaya Varma

Electronic Engineering Times ? Asia

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