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TI builds for an ADSL future

Texas Instruments will market its newest digital signal processor to deliver the building blocks for high-speed ADSL modems.

Building on an agreement reached last year, Texas Instruments (TXN) plans to soon deliver the building blocks for high-speed ADSL modems.

The company will market its newest digital signal processor with software jointly developed by Amati Communications (AMTX).

This is supposed to allow ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) modem designs that are cost effective and easy for manufacturers to build. These modems will take advantage of ADSL networks now being tested in the United States and in Australia, and expected to be rolled out for commercial service in the second half of 1997.

Currently, Texas Instruments commands more than 45 percent of the world market for digital signal processors, and many modem companies such as U.S. Robotics use TI chips in their products.

Modems using Amati's technology will be able to download data at up to 8 mbps and transmit data at up to 640 kbps over standard copper phone lines, according to the company. ADSL is faster than ISDN, which transmits over the public switched telephone network at speeds of up to 128 kpbs in both directions.

The new TI chip is a digital signal processor, a kind of chip that is more specialized than the general-purpose CPUs found in most computers today. TI claims that its C6x DSP is ten times as powerful as the previous generation of DSPs.