Metropolitan Area Communication System


MAX - 2100

Keywords MANs, multimedia communications systems


Start Date: 10-APR-89 / Duration: 36 months

[ contact / participants ]


Objectives and Approach

The aim of the MAX project is to provide an innovative, efficient and cost-effective solution to the communication needs of heterogeneous business users distributed over large (ie metropolitan ) areas with a large concentration of information-based organisations.

The major objectives are the definition, design, prototype development and testing of a communication system for the flexible provision of basic and enhanced services and the support of multi-megabit applications, such as LAN-to-LAN linking, mainframe-to-mainframe communications, rapid transfer of high-resolution images, and audio and video communication and conferencing. MAX is equipped with basic management functions for configuration, fault management and user environment operation, and uses relevant existing or emerging standards.

The output from MAX has been the definition of the overall system and the specification, design and development of its main building blocks, with prototype development being carried out in project 5193, MAXI.

Progress and Results

Several guidelines have been established within the consortium to achieve these goals. Basic architecture and system choices have been made in the light of emerging standards and proposals that are gaining wide acceptance. Optical transmission is based on Synchronous Digital Hierarchy, SDH (CCITT recommendations G.707-G.709) at 155 Mbit/s, distributed multiple access protocol on Distributed Queue Dual Bus, DQDB (IEEE 802.6), and OSI-consistent protocol stacks (up to layer 4), and network management systems on Telecommunication Management Network, TMN principles. Compatibility is maintained with the Asynchronous Transfer Mode, ATM (CCITT B-ISDN Rec. I.121) and new service standards, such as the "connectionless service", whose specifications are under approval within ETSI and CCITT.

A key element in the MAX architecture is the communication node: all nodes have the same communication subsystem (whose implementation is based on the choices above) but can be equipped with different network access modules (NAMs) which enable flexible interfacing and interworking with the external world. Specific NAMs will provide access (to Ethernet and FDDI LANs or video equipment, for example).

The novelty of MAX can be found not only in the specific technical choices for the different subsystem (such as the use of high-speed electronic and optical components, single-mode optical fibres, the design and development of gate-arrays, and the definition of advanced multi-processor architectures and software) but above all in the overall system features, capable of providing integrated data and video services to meet potential demand for multi-service business networks.

The project consortium's composition, with its balance of manufacturing companies, network operators, research centres and universities, will facilitate the industrial exploitation of the project's results. A range of products will be derived, including communication systems, network products, chip-sets, high-speed communication servers, improved communication protocols and network management system, in line with the strategies of the companies involved.


CONTACT POINT

Mr Angelo Luvison
CSELT
Via G. Reiss Romoli 274
I - 10148 TORINO
tel: + 39/ 11-2285023
fax: + 39/ 11-2285085
telex: 220539 CSELT I

Participants

CSELT - I - C
HEWLETT-PACKARD LTD - UK - P
KTAS - DK - P
SIRTI SPA - I - P
ALCATEL TITN - F - P
NKT ELEKTRONIK - DK - P
3IT - F - A
UNIVERSITE DE PARIS VI - F - A
L-CUBE INFORMATION SYSTEMS SA - GR - A


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MAX - 2100, December 1993


please address enquiries to the ESPRIT Information Desk

html version of synopsis by Nick Cook