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Encyclopedia > Microcom

Microcom Systems was a major modem vendor during the 1980s, although they were never as popular as the "big three", Hayes, U.S. Robotics and Telebit. Nevertheless they hold an important place in modem history due to their introduction of the MNP error-correction and compression protocols, which were widely used under license by most modem manufacturers in the 1990s. Compac purchased the company in 1997. A modem (a portmanteau word constructed from modulator and demodulator) is a device that modulates a carrier signal to encode digital information, and also demodulates such a carrier signal to decode the transmitted information. ... U.S. Robotics (popularly nicknamed USR), based in Schaumburg, Illinois and founded in 1976, is a company that makes computer modems and related technologies. ... Telebit, a modem manufacturer, is most notable for the Trailblazer variety modems. ... The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is a commonwealth in political union with the United States of America at a strategic location in the West Pacific Ocean. ...

In the mid-1980s several companies introduced new modems with various "high-speed" features in order to differentiate themselves from the growing legion of Hayes 1200 bps clones that were flooding into the market. Developing such a protocol was not all that easy, and generally required a fairly powerful and expensive microcontroller to handle the modulation. A microcontroller (MCU) is a computer-on-a-chip used to control electronic devices. ...

Microcom took another approach, addressing the feature gap not through higher speeds, but through additional capabilities. They introduced the AX/1200 and AX/2400 modems, which featured MNP 1 error correction in an otherwise standard 1200 bps Bell 212 or 2400 bps v.22bis modem. When a Microcom modem was used by both ends of a connection, the connection was entirely error-free. Unfortunately, this early version of MNP actually slowed down the data rate, and was not very popular for that reason. Several improvements were made to the MNP protocol over the next few years, culminating in the MNP 5 standard, which compressed the data in the modem before sending it. The Bell 212 is a light utility helicopter and generally has a crew of two and can carry up to 12 passengers. ... V.22 bis is an ITU-T recommendation extending V.22 with a faster rate using QAM modulation at 600 bauds to carry digital data at 2400 or 1200 bit/s. ...

Microcom introduced a series of ever-faster modems, typically based on newely introduced standards; 9600 bps v.32, 14,400 bps v.32bis and 28,800 bps v.34. The company also broadened its line into different price points, offering the DeskPorte series as their primary desktop modem, while also offering a number of PC Card modems that were fairly popular. V.32 is an ITU-T recommendation for a modem, allowing bidirectional data transfer at either 9. ... V.32bis is an ITU-T recommendation for a modem, allowing up to 14. ... V.34 is: The communication protocol from ITU for 28. ... The PCMCIA is the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association, an industry trade association that creates standards for notebook computer peripheral devices. ...



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