The project will develop a baseline competence in all aspects of designing and engineering systems which will exploit the technology developed in OMI/HIC, using demanding applications to ensure the completeness and relevance of the expertise developed. This know-how will be made available to the electronic systems marketplace in the form of toolkits, application guidelines, etc, in order to ensure ease of use and rapid market take-up of the technology.
A major focus of MACRAME is the mastery of the routing technology and its use in the support of higher level protocols. To this end, the project will demonstrate vertical integration of the new IEEE P1355 protocols with standards such as ATM and SCI (IEEE 1596-1992), establishing a world leadership position in highly integrated communications and routers. Interconnect is an increasingly important aspect of information technology systems, and is rapidly developing as a marketplace in its own right. Macrame contributes a world class European presence in this market.
The accelerating market demands on wide area computer networks, workstation clusters, multi-processor mainframes and embedded systems are increasingly not being satisfied as these systems become constrained by slow or expensive interconnect technologies.
Further growth can only be assured by a substantial reduction in the cost/performance ratio of the interconnect technology. Indeed the success of initiatives such as the European Information Space depend almost entirely on users and servers being able to connect to networks at a bandwidth and price that ensure volume exploitation.
European companies have already demonstrated state of the art technology in high speed point-to-point links and network routers under the framework of the PUMA and the OMI/HIC projects. The protocols developed in OMI/HIC are being used as the baseline for a new international standard (IEEE P1355 and ISO/IEC JTCI/SC26 WG13). This technology has natural applications in the construction of network switching nodes, end user equipment, active backplanes and onboard interconnects for embedded systems.
In the particular domain of wide area networks, such as the European or US Information Superhighways, there is a large market for end user equipment which provides local area distribution to clients and computer network concentrators for the servers.
Thus Europe is in a potentially excellent position to exploit the possibilities offered by the existing markets in peer networks and the proposed gigabit highway technologies. To ensure that this European potential is fully exploited, it is essential to consolidate the technology, ensure its usability and focus on its promotion.
The MACRAME project has been constructed to meet these requirements.
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