14 August 2001

New for old

How to overcome the physical challenges of adding adsl to pots. By Philip Ling.

One of the major challenges for any engineering group when designing a new product is to determine accurately its characteristics and performance. This challenge is even greater when the product is using emerging technology, but must integrate with an incumbent infrastructure dating from the 1920s. If this was the only issue facing design teams developing asymmetric digital subscriber line (adsl) products, the task would be more manageable, but there is also the need to comply with developing standards.

A test campaign designed for this challenge differs significantly from testing modems during manufacture, where a simple pass or fail criteria is applied to selected tests. A design engineer's goals during development will include testing electrical characteristics to match physical line characteristics, as well as anticipated line conditions, but to be useful the tests also have to highly accurate and repeatable.

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Graham Pitcher

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