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qS)D~ -J 11

FROM THE WORLD OF ELECTRONICS


many cases. the lens betng formed on
The Move to Broadband the end of the fibre itself. Use of a lens
End-to-End typically boosts the coupling efffciency
to around 50% and so allowtng the the
The ISDN (Integrated Services Digital transmission distance to be inereased
Network) ts being rolled out in many by up to 25 km (15 miles). The penalty
countries around the world and ts at- for using a lens 1S that the posttiontng
tracting a growing number of users: of the fibre relative to the laser be-
However, at the same time, there ts an comes more critical. A lateral rnove-
increasing view that it will be unable ment of only 1.2 pm will reduce the
to provide the functionality that bust- amount of light coupled by half.
ness will need in the not too distant The BTL development involved a
future. A wide consensus is that asyn- number of elements whtch. together.
chronous transfer mode (ATM) technol- resulted in a major breakthrough. The
ogy will be needed because it has the Irr-st was the development of a laser
potenUal to support applications rang- that incorporates a taper to inerease
ing from the bandwidth-hungry CAD the mode size of the laser to match
(computer aided desrgnl and high- more closely that of the fibre. This re-
quality video through to simple votce moves the need for expensive lens-
communications. ended fibre and yet allows light Irorn
Recent developments in Britain - the laser to be coupled directly to a
BT Laboratories (BTL) in transmission ATM25 plug-tn card for PC (ATML). cleaved opttcal ftbre wtth efficiencies
and Advanced Telecommu ntcattons of up to 75%. More importantly, this
Modules Ltd (ATML)in ATM technology also tncreases the alignment tolerance
- are likely to have an important role duction of FITH. Given the large poten- of the laser by a factor of three,
to play. Consequently. even though tial market, the cost of these lasers
wtdc-area ATM Ircm desk-to-desk is could weil fall to around .s:; 10 - a re- Precision cleaving
not yet here. these two elements will ducnon bya factor of ten. The second element was the develop-
bring it alpt nearer. The technology will cul costs by al- ment of aprecision cleaving technique
N-ISDN (narrow-band ISDN), which lowing crude. and therefore low-cost., that allows the postnon of the laser
Is really what w should now call ISDN. automated ptck-and-placc assembly to active regten relative to the edge of the
ts sunable for a wide range of appll- be used and yet still result in the chip to be known far more accurately
cations and is a great improvement on same proportion of light (over 50%) to than when the traditional cleaving
the analogue networks that have been be coupled into the fibre. technique using a diamond-tipped
in service for many years even though The requirement is to altgn two very scribber is used.
It only provides 64 kbtt ys channels. small objects very precisely. Semieon- Finally. there was the development
Yet. while the core networks are in- ductor lasers have an optimum acttve of the mtcrc-rnachtned silicon mount
creasingly employing opttcal fibre as cross-sectional area that ts typically on which the laser stts. This incorpo-
the transmission medium, the copper 1-5 um wtde by 0.15 um thick. This rates a silica stop La which the laser is
'Iocal loop' Irorn the local telephone ex- results in the light guided by the de- aligned just by pushing it until con-
change to the subscriber is a bottle- vice having a spot size of about taet is made and a precision-etched V-
neck and is a missing link in effecttve 1xO.7511m, where this spot size is de- groove in which the fibre may be
end-tc-end broadband communica- fined as the point at which the light glued.
tlons. intensity falls to about half the value Not only does the combination of
The cost of telecommunications- relative to the centre. these three elements enable the BTL
quality semiconductor laser diodes is This optimum active dimension ts researchers to obtain eoupling efft-
inherently expensive. at about E 100 determined by both the refractive in- eiencies of over 50% by purely passive
(5: 160) each, because of the ttrnecon- dexes of the semiconductor materials ahgnmcnt. but the outeame is a tech-
suming process of aligning the laser used and the need to obtain high elec- nology which is suttable for high-vol-
and fibre ptgtail. which requires a trtcal current densities within the urne produetion. This will deliver FTTH
skilled operator and expensive corn- actrve regten, whtle maintaining a low (ar to the small office).
puter-controlled cqutpment. The re- operational current. The larger mode The next requirement is to deliver
sult is that they are not eeonomically stze. of about 9 um diameter of a ATM to the desk with the ATM25
viable in the Iocal loop for delivering single mode optical fibre, is deter- (25.6 Mbit/s) specification, which is
fibre-to-the-home (FTTH). Thus, they mined by its lower refractive Index, aimed at meeting (and gallig beyond)
are not used in large quantities and all current broadband desk-top re-
manufacturers cannot ob ta in the Limlted distance quirernents. and which operates over
economies of scale necessary to bring Only about \0% of the light from the the standard voice-grade lOBaseT
down prices. fibre would be coupled to a cleaved (UTP-3) wiring. Hence, l t will enable
optical fibre because of this modal users ta mtgrate readily from Ethernet
Cutting costs mismatch. This poor coupling effi- to a lugher performance network at an
However, BTL has developed a tech- eiency limits the distance over which average price of around 5: 500 (5: 800)
nology which overcomes the problem the optical stgnal can be transmitteel per port - a figure camparable wtth
of attgnment between laser and fibre without the need far amplification or swttched Ethernet.
ptgtarl and so obviates the ttme-con- regeneration.
suming and htghly expensive stages in Traditionally. this problern has Affordable solution
manufacture. Thts will cut the cost of been overcome by placing a lens be- With this market in mind, British
the lasers. and so will speed the tntro- tween the laser and the fibre with, in company ATML has launehed a range

ELEKTOR ELECTRONICS NOVEMBER 1995


FROM THE WORLD OF ELECTRON1CS

of products aimed at providing an af- the future. other parts of the world. CES® at-
fordable ATM solution to fit seamlessly BT Developrnent & Procurernent. BT Labo- tracts more than 100,000 industry at-
tnto pe workgroup computing. Prod- ratortes. Martlesham Heath. Ipswich, tendees, including retailers, dtstrtbu-
ucts are already operatmg in test ap- Uni ted Kingdom IP5 7RE. Phone +44 tors, industry analysts and media
pltcaüons as diverse as an interactive (0) 1473 647 448. Fax +44 (0) 1473 637 626. from over 100 countrtcs.
cable TV trral in Cambridge, where Advanced 'Telecommurucattons Modules, lncluding all consumer product cat-
they are supporting delivery of on-de- Mount Pleasant House, 2 Mount Pleasant, egories, Winter CES offers more than
mand servtces to over 200 hornes and Hu nttngdon Rcad. Carnbridge, United 100,000 square metres of exhibit
at Olivetti Research Labs. where work- Kingdom CB3 OBL. Phone +44 (0) 1223 areas that represent the world's
group vtdec-mafl and videoconferenc- 566919. Fax +44 (0)1223 566 915. largest gathering of mobile electronics
ing ts used extensively. produets, horne offtce, electronic gam-
In many instances, users will rni- ing hardware and software, horne au-
grate frorn their existing systems Consumer Electronics Trends tomation, and horne theatre products,
piece meal rather than all at anee. in the mid-1990s in addition to the traditional audio
Hence, they need ease of use with fea- and video categories. The largest
tures such as plug-and-play installa- "This has been the best sales year in trade-only show in the Uni ted States,
tion to rninimize the problems in the four-decade history of colour tele- Winter CES also features dozens of
adding individual end-users. To buffer vtstons," said Gary J. Shapiro, group workshop sessions and seminars
against unusual trafftc condttlons. the vtce president of the Electronic Indus- about the state-of-the-art in consumer
system can incorporate aseparate tries Assoctations Consumer Elec- electronics teehnology and merchan-
memory bank in addition to Ft-Fo tronics Group (ElA/CEG), as 1994 drew dising. Ninety-five of the US tndustry's
(first-in, first-out) stores. to a elose. "What we're seeing ts a con- top 100 retailers participated in the
On the applications side, ATML of- vergence of at least three Iactors: a 1995 show, as did 24 of the top 25
Cers a htgh-perfor mance disc storage strenger us economy. renewed con- personal computer retailers. Almost
RAID array optimized for multimedia sumer confidence, and adesire on the 14,000 visttors frorn 103 other eoun-
applications in a rc workgroup envi- part of consumers to u pgrade their tries made up 13% of the total atten-
ronment. It simultanously supports video and audro systems." What Mr dance. Taken together, Winter CES
multiple audio and video streams for Shapiro said of colour televisions, his- participants create a klrid of "snap-
multiple PC clients. Offering up to torically the premier us consumer shot' of trends in US consumer elec-
16 Gbyte of storage, it provtdes high electrontcs product, is generally true trorucs in the mid-1990s and forecast
btt-rate media streams on an ATM net- of consumer electronics as a whole. the waves that will be breaking on
work and ts ideal for app1ications Record-setting sales in 1994 are being other shores over the next few years.
such as tratntng. video-mall. and followed by rising sales levels in many
video-on-demand which require video consumer electronic product cate- Home office/mobile office
playback. gories this year. Pressured by the massive restructur-
These are two links in the cham EIA's huge International Winter ing of many Ameriean corporations,
needed to provided end-to-end ccn- Consumer Electrorucs ShoW® in Las millions of wcrket-s, including former
nectivity for users who range Irorn the Vegas, Nevada, USA every January is executives, have chosen to start their
large corporation to the SoHo (sm all always a reliable Indicator of current own home-based businesses. Accord-
offtceyhome office) worker. The reeult American trends, and trends in the ing to BIS Strategie Deeisions, a mar-
is that organtzations should constder United States have tradittonally fore- ket research firm, when you count
ATM in their long-term strategies for shadowed industry developments in people who have set up horne offices

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ELEKTOR ELECTRON1CS NOVEMBER 1995


to supplement their incomes, handle
FROM THE WORLD OF ELECTRONICS a
take-horne work from tbeir corporate
offices, or telecommute via computer a International Subscription Service
cou ple of days a week, the total nurn- Please enter my subscription to Elektor Electronics for one year.
ber of horne offices exceeds 40% of
Americas 95 million households.
'Annual aubscrlptlon rates (1996)
o Suriace maü o Airmail

According to ElA/CEG'S Shapiro, Uni!ed Kingdom C3Q.OO


Method of payment (tick as appropriate)
Rest 01Ihe wortd (surface mail) ['37.00
new information technologtos are also
driving the horne office boom. a phe-
AIRMAIL
Europe & Eire C3B·OO o Invoice me/us
USA & Canada $64.00
nomenon that shows no sign of abat- Middle East & North Africa ['47·00 o Bank draft'
Central & southem Africa ['4HXl
ing. In fact, with CD-ROMmultimedia Gentral & South America t:47·oo o Cheque enclcsed'" (payable to Elektor Electronics)
products now multiplying on the mass Australla & New Zea!and easöc
market, EIAjCEG believes that more Far East & South Pacifie regions t:49-oo o By Giro transfer?"
and more American households will Student appllcatlons, which quallty lor a
20% (twenty per cent) reeocncn In current
o Charge my VisaJAccessiMaster/Euro credit card
want the horne office capability. CD- rates. rnuet be suppcrtec by evidence of I I I I I I I I I I I I I I
ROMsare providing new business in- studenlship slgn&d by the head 01 the col-
lege. scheel or university faeu1ty.
formation sourees, and a wealth of Card expiry date: Signature:
Please note that new subscriptions take
powerful. affordable software now en- accut lour weeks Irom racelpt of order 10
become effectlve. Name
ables horne offtce workers to produce 'Our bankers are National westmnster
Bank PLC, Sorting Code 6Q.07..()t. 49 South Address
business documents wtth an array of Street. Derchester. Derset. England
sophisticated features hardly distin- nrt 1DW. Our eccount number ls
guishable from the corporate head- 6966 3440.
'·US dollar cheques. Subscrlbers in the Postal code
quarters product. USA and Canada only may pay in $US
cheques. All other cheques must be in eter- Date
Last January, ElA/CEG forecast that ling drawn on a London cv~aring bank.
Telephone
1995 sales of horne information equip- ... Our Giro Alct is no. 34 152 3801
November 1995
ment to us dealers would total nearly
$24 billion or nearly one-thtrd of the
years industry-wide sales, and that
trend has continued. For the past two
years: horne office equipment has American mobile office trend will con- installed base of only a year earlier.
been the fastest-growing product cate- tinue to gatn momentum: "My guess is ElA expects the number to increase to
gory. and revenues from personal that during this decade we will see a 20 million in 1995, while CD-ROM soft-
computer sales aloe now equal or ex- wave of innovation in wtreless commu- ware titles will continue to grow expo-
ceed those from dtrecteview colour nications hat will surpass even the nentially. Since 1993, CD-ROMmulti-
televtston, traditionally the industry's cellular revolution of the Eighties in medta prograrns have generated the
best-selling product. terms of technology and economic im- most interest at the consumer elec-
EIAforecasts 1995 us factory rev- pact. Clearty. the mobile office has a tronics shows sponsored by ElA. To
enues of about $11.9 billion for per- bright and exciting future." encourage and take advantage of this
sonal computers. In addition to rcs. The us mobile electronics trend is multimedia trend, begtnntng in 1996,
other types of consumer electronics so strong. in fact. that this year EUA EIAis sponsoring a brand-new mega-
equipment are contributing to the staged a trade show devoted exclu- show called CES Orlando, 'The Digital
American horne office trend. The con- sively to autornottve electronics and Destination'. The show will take place
sumer demand for facsimile machines the mobile office - the National Mobile each year in Orlando, Flortda. USA.
rernains strang. More than 2.5 million Electronics Show. Because the de-
of these machines were sold to us con- mand Ior mobile electronics is brisk, Home theatre.
sumers in 1994. with a factory value future versions of this annual show Adding to the trend toward home-
of alrnost $1 billion. E1A/CEG'S forecast will continue to take place every April. based entertainment is the growth of
for 1995 calls for sales of alm ost 3 interest in large-screen (>69 cm) dt-
million units with a factory value of Multimedia games/education rect-view and projection television sys-
well over $1 billion. Horne photocopier Some of the same kinds of hardware tems. Owtng to the growing availability
sales are brisk, wtth 1994 sales of platform and software resource that in the us of digital images and sound
about half a million units, and at least support eh horne office are rnaking the via direct broadcast satellite (DBS),
that many forecast for 1995. Corded American horne a computer-based en- together with the advent of TVS th at
and cordless telephone sales of more tertainment and education centre as show films in wide movie-screen pro-
than 45 million units are predicted for weil. Spurred by the desire of parents porttons. stereo audio/video recetvers,
1995 by E1A, with a total factory value to keep their children happy at horne and surround-sound speaker systems,
of 1.8 billion. In addttton. EIA'SCon- and provide thern with a competttrve the concept 0 the hcme theatre has
sumer Electronics Group estimates edge in education, a rapidly growtng taken gtant strides forward. To simu-
consumer penetration of cellular selection of CD-ROMbased games and late the movie theatre experience at
phones rose from 10% to 20% in 1994 Iearrung programs is Oowing into mil- horne, more and more Americans are
and shows no signs of slowtng, Cellu- lions of Amertcan hornes. Generally buying horne theatre systems or creat-
lar telephones represent one of the speaking. 'multimedta' refers to the in- ing their own frorn a growing array of
technclogtes making posstble the mo- tcgratron and concurrent display of components. Together, us horne the-
bile or virtual offtce. so called because text, video, graphics and audio. Multi- atre audio and video product sales in-
extremely compact cellular phones, media system are also interactive. en- creased by 12% between 1993 and
pagtng devtces, notebook PCs wtth couragmg the user to be actively in- 1994, amounting to <7 billion.
modems, portable faxes, and portable volved with the hardware-software in- The horne theatre experience tends
digital assistants {PDAS)DOW per mit a terface. to be b uilt by consumers in stages.
business person to carry an offlce vtr- According to EIA, the number of The basic experience ts provided by a
tually anywhere, Irom a movtng auto- American Households owning comput- btg-screen direct view or projcctton TV.
mobile to a hotel room. ers with CD-ROM totalled 14 million by The second step is usually the integra-
EIA's Gary Shapiro thinks the the end of 1994, nearly trebling the tion of the TVwith a surround-sound

ELEKTOR ELECTRONICS NOVEMBER 1995


11-----·· BV AIRMAIL

PAR AVION
Ne pas affranchir
neto-optical capabthttes. A lot of ex-
citement has been genera ted by the
discrete five-channel surround-sound
made possible by Dolby AC~3, which
was introduced to American ccn-
sumers thts year and sets a new stan-
dard for audio excellence in home the-
lBRS/CCRI Number atrc. Same television manufacturers
PHQ~D(561)DT No stamp required are even incorporating digital signal
processing in selected TV sets. DSP
chtps can store the acoustic charac-
Reponse payee tertsucs of different listening envtron-
ments. so listeners can choose to hear
Grande Bretagne asoundtrack as if it was played, for
instance, in a movie theatre, a concert
Elektor Electronics (Publishing) hall, a jazz club, or a cathedral.
The market Impacts of the horne
World Wide Subscription Service theatre trend and its audio-visual
Unit 4, Gibbs Reed Farm components are the focus of ELA'SNEW
ces Specialty Audio and Horne Theatre
Pashley Road, Ticehurst Show. The show features exhtbtts and
East Sussex, United Kingdom TN5 7HE workshops in theae product cate-
gories: specialty audlo hardware and
software. horne theatre systems, video
hardware and software. custom instal-
lation products, cable and accessories
I'---. and furniture, wtth major parttcipa-
tion by industry publications and
trade associations, as well as all the
processor and extra speakers for the htgh-deftrutton television {HD1V)." leading rnanufacturers.
rear au dto channels. Some consumers
fill out their horne theatres by adding Audio Wbere do we go from here?
more speakers, aJong with hr-f vcns The strongest trend in US audio con- At this point no one can tell wh ether
and laserdisc players. Horne theatre surner electronics continues to be the the current separate trends in UScon-
enthusiasts with deep packets have sale of campact disc players. whtch sumer electronics between the horne
thetr systems taüored by specialized surpassed 24 million units in 994 and computer as a centre of business, en-
horne theatre stores, including butlt-tn will probably total 32 million this year, tertainment and educational activities
installation. Such an installation can with a factory value of abu t $5 billion. and the horne theatre as a centre of
cast $15,000 or more. üf those 32 million co players, nearly family entertainment and information
19 million will be portable units. In experiences will be resolved into a
Video 1994, Amencan consumers purchased single pornt of 'multimedia' focus in
Although horne theatre represents the 5.3 million rack and shelf audio sys- tbe future. Some us industry forces
leading edge of colour video/audio tem, and ElA forecasts 1995 sales of are trying to consolidate trends in
technology, the great majority of us about 5.5 million units wtth a [actory Iavour of the computer, others in
COIOUT TV sales conttnuc to be in the value of almost $1.5 billion. favour of the horne theatre. In the
$350-$450 price range. lt is not un- In 1995, EIAexpects separate audio foreseeable future, both are likely to
usu al today to find a 64-ern colour 1V component sales in the us to be worth grow in sophistication and appeal and
with butlt-In stereo in the $300 range about $1.8 billion at the factory. coexist happily in the horne, to the
and a 69-ern stereo colour set for as Nowhere is the saJes synergy of video benefit of all industry parttcipants.
little as $400. Despite the fact that and audto more clear than in the the
four or ftve colour sets purchased ten mutual stimulation of large-screen
years ago are still in use and fully half digital TV and digital high-end. sur-
of Ifi-year'-old colour sets are still op- rourid-sou nd audio equipment. Says CORRECTION
erating. Americans continue to buy Gary Shaptro: "Specialty audio tradi- 'Codtng & Modulation Techniques
them in record numbers, moving the tionally has had a loyal, knowledge- in ERMES' (üctober 1995)
older sets to other raoms as the new able following, but thanks to the horne The seventh line before the end of the
ones take centre-stage in the living theatre boom we're seeing dernograph- article (page 75) reads:
room, ically broader demand for top-of-the-
The appeal of colour 1V is enhanced line speakers and audic /vtdeo re- which are factars over GF(2)of (x + 1).
by tbe availability of tncreastngly-so- ceivers, Cf example. Not since the ad-
phisticated, compact, and affordable vent of digital audio itself has there This should read:
vcns, camcorders, and TV /VCR combi- been such a wave of new interest in
nations. "It is remarkable that colour upgrading horne audio systcms." which are factars over GF(2)of (x23 + 1).
televiston, despite Its 97% US house- With the marriage of audio and
hold penetration, ts about to record trs video inta he horne theatre concept,
best year ever," observed Gary audto devotees have the option of
Shapiro. "Even though it made its adding a digital recording capability as
debut in this country 40 years ago, weil, choosing between Digital Com-
colour televtsion continues to offers pact Cassette (DCCl, a system compatt-
consumers new and exctttng capabili- ble with analogue as well as new digi-
ties, including horne theatr-e. direct tal taps, and the MiniDisc (MD). a
broadcast satellite. and soon digital technology based upan the dtsc's mag-

ELEKTOR ELECTRONICS NOVEMlIER 1995