smartBridges smartNIC - Page 1

By Yingzong
08/10/99
Hardware One


The smartBridges smartNIC Package

Introduction
Networking is undoubtedly one of the buzz words of the Information Age. From large Multi-National Companies to the average home user, the desire to interconnect two or more computers is evident. As such, many innovative network solutions have been developed. For example, Lucent Technologies has developed a novel wireless network using radio waves and 3Com has a fascinating network solution that runs over regular phonelines. With the ubiquitous USB port, another alternative more intrinsic to our computers exists : A USB to Ethernet Adapter for Ethernet networks.

smartBridges is a Singapore-based company which is currently committed to projects adding value to plain network adapters. In a recent collaboration with CATC, a leading supplier of USB development and test tools, smartBridges has come out with the smartNIC, a USB to Ethernet Adapter. The smartNIC is designed to bring a simple Ethernet network solution with little performance cost compared to traditional network cards. The device connects to the USB port of a computer and gets power from the bus itself. It is primarily targeted at users of notebooks, who are often at the receiving end of broken cable connectors and dongles of PC cards. Before I proceed on, credit must be given to Min-Liang at Silicon Horizon for providing the unit for review.

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