100Mbps broadband speed soon to be a reality

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Sydney, Nov 5 (UNI) An Australian researcher has discovered a way to make broadband connections up to 100 times faster.

University of Melbourne research fellow Dr John Papandriopoulos is in the throes of moving to Silicon Valley after developing an algorithm to reduce the electromagnetic interference that slows down ADSL connections.

ADSL or Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line is a form of DSL, a data communications technology that enables faster data transmission over copper telephone lines than a conventional voiceband modem can provide.

Most ADSL services around the world are effectively limited to speeds between 1 to 20 Mbps, but if Dr Papandriopoulos's technology is successfully commercialised that speed ceiling would reach close to 100 Mbps.

''Many years ago people used to pick up the phone and make a phone call and you'd be able to hear a faint or distant telephone conversation taking place, and that's called cross-talk,'' Dr Papandriopoulos said when attempting to explain how his algorithm worked.

''That is not an issue for voice calls these days but it becomes a problem when you're trying to wring more bandwidth out of these existing copper telephone wires [which power ADSL broadband connections],'' he was quoted by Sydney Morning Herald as saying.

''This cross-talk in current day DSL networks effectively produces noise onto other lines, and this noise reduces the speed of your connection,'' he added.

Dr Papandriopoulos said his algorithm served to minimise that interference and thus maximise the line speed.

He said others had researched the same area but his project was attracting significant interest because it was more practical and easier to implement.

If it is successfully licensed to equipment vendors, Dr Papandriopoulos expects the technology to be implemented by internet providers around the world within two or three years.

Stanford University engineering professor John Cioffi, known by some as the ''father of DSL'', was one of the external experts reviewing the research, which made up Dr Papandriopoulos's PhD thesis.

Professor Cioffi, who developed the computer chips inside the first DSL modems, was so impressed he offered the 29-year-old a job at his Silicon Valley start-up company, ASSIA, which is developing ways to optimise the performance of DSL networks.

Dr Papandriopoulos, whose efforts also earned him the University of Melbourne's Chancellor's Prize for Excellence, said he would leave for the US in about two weeks. He has already applied for two patents relating to his discovery.

Dr Papandriopoulos is in the process of assigning the intellectual property rights for his invention to the university, but he stands to receive significant royalties from any licensing agreements.


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