Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water now the feeding frenzy over 56Kbit/sec modems has died down, along comes Diamond Multimedia with new technology that claims to double the speed again.
Diamond's new Shotgun technology takes two 56Kbit/sec modems, attaches them to a PC, ties each one to two separate phone lines, adds some hocus-pocus and achieves almost ISDN speeds of up to 112Kbit/second.
"It's an indication of one of the new directions in which we are moving the company," said Kenneth Wirt, Diamond's vice president for corporate marketing.
While Diamond still has a lead in the market for branded graphics boards, Wirt said communications products would be added to the product mix in the future.
The new modem also builds on the Supra brand name that Diamond acquired about two years ago.
"Shotgun technology delivers enhanced Internet access by bonding two analog modem data streams together," said Wirt.
These data streams, consisting of two independent modem speeds, are combined inside the PC into one, faster connection.
"Customers continually demand faster Internet access for surfing the Web and downloading the increasingly multimedia-intensive graphics, video and audio," said Wirt.
Shotgun technology was developed by Diamond in partnership with Ascend Communications.
Lisa Pelgrim, a senior analyst at Dataquest, said that since modem bonding makes use of existing analog lines, it is very cost-effective for consumers.
"The bandwidth-on-demand feature makes this usable by the consumer market as well as the small office. It allows users to make use of their analog lines, without giving up phone service."
Pelgrim added that Dataquest forecasts that the overwhelming majority of Internet users will continue to use analog technology through the year 2000.
Diamond's Shotgun technology incorporates Multichannel Protocol Plus (MP+), which was developed by Ascend Communications in 1992.
MP+ allows any Internet Service Provider (ISP) that uses Ascend equipment to support Shotgun bonding. MP+ bonds two modem calls on the ISP side of the connection. MP+ has been included in Ascend's products since 1993 and is currently available in Ascend's MAX family of WAN access switches.
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