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New DSL Technology designed to allow HD video over phone lines

Texas Instruments (TI) has developed new technology designed to allow telephone companies to boost their DSL bandwidth in order to offer new video services over broadband telco connections.

Last week, TI announced Uni-DSL, or UDSL, which raises the bandwidth of DSL to the level necessary to deliver HDTV signals and other advanced video services, as well as voice and data.

The Uni-DSL technology - which is backward-compatible with standardized variations of DSL - includes asynchronous DSL (ADSL) and high-speed DSL (VDSL). It will allow carriers to boost their bandwidth to 200Mb/s, said Pete Chow, TI's chief technology officer for DSL technology.

TI will begin building sets of silicon chips for DSL networks and corresponding chips for customers' homes. Its equipment will go into facilities, called crossconnects that are built near customers.

Phone companies could build fiber-optic networks to those facilities and still provide service of 50- to100Mb/s per second - much faster than typical DSL at 8Mb/s – on regular phone lines the rest of the way to customers' homes. That would limit the need for laying costly fiber right to customers' homes.

Chow said the Dallas-based semiconductor company has been working on the technology for about nine months and plans to produce the first chipset in late 2005 and begin a major sales push in 2007 and beyond. He said the company doesn't foresee any huge technical barriers.

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