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Phantom Mode DSL patents now in a ready-made bundle from Assia

When we wrote a little update piece about Assia getting $20 million or so last week on the back of its Dynamic Spectrum Management technologies, what


Published: 2 December, 2010


When we wrote a little update piece about Assia getting $20 million or so last week on the back of its Dynamic Spectrum Management technologies, what we didn’t recall was that the company has also filed patents on DSL Phantom Mode. Assia is a company built around the know-how of Professor John Cioffi, who practically invented DSL broadband.

This Phantom mode technology has been demonstrated recently by Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Nokia Siemens Networks and apparently also by Ericsson (though we didn’t cover that), and it can boost DSL over multiple twisted pair copper wires up to 800 Mbps, over short hops and under the right conditions.

Those patents are now available for license says Assia covering all the essential patents these equipment vendors will need to bring DSL Phantom Mode Technology to market.

“Recent Phantom Mode product announcements, advertising speeds of more than 800 Mbps, substantiate the importance of this technology, which Assia developed some years ago,” said Cioffi, Assia CEO.

“Vectoring technology, which can practically increase speeds for consumer DSL beyond 100 Mbps, has recently been standardized, and today vendors are developing vectored DSL products,” Cioffi continued. “Phantom Mode technology leverages vectoring to provide business services over copper that will be competitive with the fastest optical services. The market interest in low-cost, high-performance copper broadband technologies is strong.”

DSL traditionally works by sending electrical signals over a single pair of wires to a subscriber’s premises. DSL speeds can be increased by a process known as “bonding,” where independent signals are sent over multiple pairs of wires to the subscriber’s premises. Phantom Mode goes a step further, sending independent signals not only over each pair of wires, but also between the pairs (partly on one pair and partly on another). In this way, two pairs of wires can deliver three to four times the data rate of a single pair, rather than the doubling that would occur with bonding of two pairs alone.

The key Assia invention which makes Phantom Mode communication practical, is the DSL modem ability to discriminate between the deliberate phantom communication signals and undesirable crosstalk which they can create. Assia removes this using vectoring, making Phantom Mode communication practical.

The basic concept of applying vectoring to Phantom Mode transmission was first reported by Assia employees in an award-winning technical paper in 2004, and it has since received patents for this invention in the US and other countries and is now being adopted by the industry. Assia will now look to license these patents to DSL chipset and equipment vendors


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