Bits & Bytes
LESS STATIC ON THE LAPTOP LINE?
While cellular networks have done wonders for phone conversations, they still leave lots to be desired for moving data between laptop computers. The static, fade-outs, and echoes that make cellular calls merely annoying to the ear are serious trouble for computer modems--the devices that connect PCs over phone lines. On cellular links, a laptop's speedy 14,400 bit-per-second (BPS) modem may have to run as slowly as 4,800 or even a mere 2,400 to remain accurate.
Now, Celeritas Technologies Ltd. in Mission Viejo, Calif., says it has a solution. Celeritas won't describe how its Throughput-X-Cellerator (TX-Cell) microchips work because a patent on them is still pending. But it says that in tests, modems using TX-Cell chips have overcome the flaws of cellular links and moved data at the same speed as a standard phone line. While Celeritas negotiates with modem makers, portable-computer giant Toshiba Corp. and Pacific Bell have already licensed the technology.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG