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Getting Past the HSSI Barrier: Extended High-Speed Serial and Frame Relay for Effective Satellite Communication Links

Robert W. Smith

Previously, there are no serial standards that provided variable-rate serial interfaces in excess of 52Mbps (52Mbps is acknowledged as the maximum serial bit-rate) for any commercially available router or Layer 3 (as defined of the Open Systems Interconnect model) switch. The lack of a variable-rate serial interface limited the satellite operator’s selection of data-communication service offerings to a maximum of 52Mbps, even though current modulation technologies will permit data rates up to 110Mbps or higher.
New Skies defined two problems to be solved: 1) develop an interface for a router that will provide serial bit-rates between 52Mbps and 110Mbps using Frame Relay encapsulation; and 2) develop a low-cost receiver that will be able to demodulate this high-rate carrier, decode the Frame Relay data-link layer and forward the IP packets on to its local network. 
This paper presents the unique approach taken by New Skies and its partners in solving both of these problems and discusses the challenges that had to be overcome in taking this idea from concept to reality.

Key Words: 
Satellite communications
Key Words: 
serial interface
Key Words: 
frame relay