The specifications for Gigabit Token Ring have been delayed by six months, with products not now set to appear until the end of the year at the earliest.
The Fast Ethernet Token Ring Alliance, which is lead by IBM and Madge Networks, was due to deliver specifications to technical standards body the IEEE next month. However, these will now not be sent for rubber stamping until the third or fourth quarter of this year.
According to Simon Gawne, vice president of marketing at Madge Networks, "debates" between Madge and IBM have delayed efforts.
Issues still to be resolved include how to carry Ethernet traffic across Gigabit Token Ring, plus how to ensure Gigabit Ethernet and Gigabit Token Ring products are priced competitively.
Because the underlying technology used to attach devices to the network is more complex in Gigabit Token Ring than in Ethernet, the alliance is looking for ways to ensure this is not reflected in the cost of resulting products, Gawne explained.
Token ring adapter cards are today within around 15 per cent the cost of Ethernet equivalents.
* Madge has published a guide to implementing high speed Token Ring. The 100Mbps standard is currently being rolled out by Token Ring manufacturers IBM, Madge, 3Com and Olicom.
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