Connectivity Special Online


Connectivity has become the keyword in computing nowadays. It is a tribute to the power of the Internet that in the two years since the explosion of popularity of the world-wide web, no single subject has become more important for any PC user. How to connect? Where to connect? At what speed can I connect? Which technologies do I need in my (mobile) PC to connect?

All of these questions and more have recently raised the level of confusion about connectivity. Many terms and acronyms are unfamiliar. Toshiba Visions has taken a broad look at all the technology now available, those just coming onto the market and the standards we can expect to see in the future. In this connectivity special, judge for yourself the progress being made and take a glimpse into the exciting standards of multimedia connectivity to come.

Plugging it in: direct connectivity at the PC

Internal Bus - from ISA to PCI

The road from IBM's ISA to today's PCI standard was long, but the benefits are great, and mobile PCs are increasingly enjoying them too.

Proprietary expansion - the company's solution

Sometimes your PC supplier's own standards may be the best guarantee of compatibility. And for special needs just the right fit!

Remembering old friends - SCSI

SCSI has served the PC industry well but might its days be limited?

It's all in the (PC) cards

From memory expansion standard to ubiquitous mobile connectivity status - the PC Card (formerly PCMCIA) standard has be come THE key player for mobile connectivity enthusiasts.

Universal Serial Bus - just one simple plug

It's been s low start for USB but 1997 will see major progress in implementation, Windows support and a slew of options across the board. No doubt CeBIT '97 will be contributing.

IEEE 1394 - endless connections

For the exotic and the super-fast, IEEE 1394 promises more digital integration and improved multimedia options as a range of professional and consumer digital products find the PC connection.

ZV Port - mobile multimedia now

When Toshiba presented ZV to the world at CeBIT '96 it was just a few days old. The latest addition to the PC Card standard has since become a must for all mobile multimedia enthusiasts.

Infrared - connectivity for what you can see

For local desktop connectivity without the hassle of a cable connection, infrared has become a widespread standard. Whether for data transfers, printing or simply a mouse or keyboard, infrared beams the answer.

Local office connections

Ethernet - the office network standard

The easiest networking topology just got faster. With PCI and CardBus standards Ethernet cards can now manage 100 Mbps throughput - as demonstrated in notebooks at CeBIT '97.

Token Ring - the power of IBM

For IBM mainframe companies, there is nothing more IBM compatible than their own office network standard.

DECT - digital local radio standards

The local radio standard with a difficult childhood. Is DECT a business standard in waiting? Or will it be stay a consumer telephone option?

Alternative radio networking

Local networks do not need to be compatible outside the office - there are protocols to deal with such communications. Various radio systems already in use therefore offer a choice of power and mobility for whatever your need.

Staying in touch on the road or at home - tele-connectivity offers a range of technologies

Keeping pace - modern modems up to 56kbps

As desktops in America push towards the 56 Kbps standard, what chances does this technology have in Europe and can it be made mobile for notebooks?

GSM on the move

For roaming international business staff there is nothing better than GSM connectivity. And even at a national level, GSM digital converters offer external staff the connectivity flexibility usually only experienced in the office.

ISDN's fight for world recognition

A European standard for high speed telephone connections is experiencing varying degrees of popularity in different countries and different continents.

Cable modems for home connectivity

Staying in touch at home as well as in the office or on the road will be more important as the boundaries of work become ever more flexible. Cable modems offer cheap permanent connections via existing cables.

ADSL for your medium-term needs

How to use the oldest hardware and squeeze more throughput. ADSL offers impressive speeds yet keeps hardware costs to a minimum. Expect it to arrive in one or two years.

VDSL for longer term capacity

For even faster throughput and more long-term solutions, the VDSL forum is trying to establish standards. Here too, the old hardware will be squeezed to the utmost.

ATM - high-speed networking in the future

A data transfer protocol to keep pace with the needs of tomorrow's data transfer quantities. For the delivery of high-bandwidth data ATM promises much.

Satellites - connectivity anywhere on this planet

The ultimate in connectivity. One number anywhere on the planet. But this connectivity utopia will take a while to be realised.