Keywords ASN.1 coprocessor cell, peripheral supercells, network connectivity, communications protocols
Start Date: JAN-94 / Duration: 30 months
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The primary objective of the ACCENT project is to add a peripheral supercell to the library of supercells developed in the framework of the OMI program.
As a result, users of the cell library will be able to create "systems on a chip" by combining supercells of various functionality; in particular, inclusion of the ASN.1 coprocessor supercell, in combination with other peripheral supercells implementing various types of network connectivity, will allow them to create powerful communications-oriented single-chip systems.
It is anticipated that such networking capabilities will be integrated as a standard feature within virtually all future data processing equipment.
The application domains in which the technology to be developed by the ACCENT project will be involved are all those related to the interconnection of heterogeneous open systems using standardised communications protocols and data interchange structures; these application domains are very numerous and the target market is very extensive.
The ACCENT project aims at developing both a technology and applications of this technology. The technology to be developed comprises not only the ASN.1 coprocessor supercell, but also a set of software support tools allowing to make the supercell readily usable in a given application environment, in particular; ASN.1 grammar definition support and microprogram development support.
Furthermore a subsystem will be developed in the form of a plug-in board for use in a personal computer or a workstation; this subsystem teams the ASN.1 coprocessor with a host processor and common memory, as well as input/output facilities. It should be possible to implement a complete 7-layer communications protocol stack on such a subsystem.
The project includes the development of an ASN.1-based application, not only to demonstrate the feasibility and the performance of the hardware-based approach, but also to pave the way for ready exploitation of the project's results. The application chosen is based on a prominent open systems communications protocol: electronic messaging based on the X.400 standards family. The development of this application will proceed by re-engineering of existing implementations using software-based ASN.1 encoding/decoding. Development of applications in newly emerging areas for which no existing implementations are available, such as multimedia and graphics date interchange, could be the subject of a follow-on project.
Since the ACCENT project aims at developing both a technology and applications of this technology combined with previously developed OMI base technology, the ACCENT consortium comprises both technology and application developers.
Further information about ACCENT is available from the ACCENT home page.
Mr Harm Smit
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ACCENT - 9169, December 1993
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html version of synopsis by Nick Cook