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consumer devices (digital VCRs, cameras, and TVs). IEEE 1394 offers high bandwidth in the range of 100 to 400 Mbps.

  • SSA (Serial Storage Architecture): Championed by IBM initially for servers and workstations, SSA offers good performance (20-80 Mbps) over short wires, with more intelligence at each end. Eventually, this protocol could find its way down the chain from corporate client-server to consumers.

  • FC (Fiber Channel): Aimed primarily at mainframe computers, FC offers high bandwidth (100 Mbps) over medium distances (25 meters with copper pair and 100 meters with coaxial cable). This type of technology could eventually deliver bandwidth from the Residential Gateway box to PCs or other devices using the existing copper pair or coaxial cable that's in the walls. Today, however, the connection logic, at each end of the wire, is too expensive and power hungry for consumer applications.

With all of the buses, there are no active components on the bus backplane. All active components required for the basic RG functions are either on the adapters, or on the RG control section. The priority for utility companies should be NIU flexibility and local intelligence for utility functions and custom services.

With the possible (arguable) exception of ISA, these bus architectures are all well documented and open industry standards. And, with the exception of ISA, these architectures are fairly recent introductions (less than eight years old), meaning that further evolution in technology is extremely likely


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