Where it is headed and what it means to the Digital Firm
The integration of microcosm and telecosm in a series of multimedia sectors ranging from personal intelligent communicators to video teleputers to digital films and publishing is presently the impetus of world economic growth. Such a new era of computer communications have thronged into particularly in two dimensions-the fibersphere and the atmosphere. The fibersphere includes the domains of all-optical networks, having the potentiality of communication power, the bandwidth and error rate enhanced by factors in the millions.
The communication potentiality of the fibersphere is seen to be 1000 times greater than all the currently applicable frequencies in the air and so drastically error-free that it caters to a quite new model of wired telecommunications. Presently the atmosphere is offering links as mobile and ever-present. It thus caters to the formation of a completely new model of wireless networks. (Glider, 1993) In 1865 the Scottish Physicist James Clerk Maxwell discovered the electromagnetic spectrum.
Maxwell’s rainbow reaches from the extremely low frequencies applied for establishment of communication with submarines be means of the frequencies used in radio, television and cellular phones, on up to the frequencies of infrared used in TV remotes and fiber optics and further to visible and ultraviolet light and X-rays. In case of integration, Maxwell reduced he entire spectrum to just four equations in vector calculus. He proved that all such radiations move at the speed of light, in other words, the wavelength times the frequency is equivalent to the speed of light.
Such equations have become the pivot around which the whole information world presently revolves. In reality all electromagnetic radiations can hold information and the higher the frequencies, the more room they entail for bearing information. In a practical matter, however, communications engineers have targeted at low, thronging the frequencies at the bottom of the spectrum, involving much less than one percent of the total span. (Glider, 1993) However, the huge expansion of the wireless communications predicted by Sculley, however, will necessitate use of higher frequencies far up Maxwell’s rainbow.
In 1948, the transistor was invented by Shockley and the information theory invented Claude Shannon that underlies all modern communications. At the first instance information theory is difficult for non-mathematicians, but computer and telecom executives are required to concentrate on only a few crucial concepts. While finding out the quantum of information that is possible to be sent down a noisy channel, Shannon indicated that engineers can opt between narrowband high-powered solutions and broadband low powered solutions.
Presuming that the adoptive bandwidth is scanty and costly, most wireless engineers have strived to economize on it. Similar to the policy of talking louder in a crowded room for getting a message, the noisy channel can be overcome by more powerful signals. Engineers therefore initiated a strategy of long and strong: long wavelengths and powerful transmissions with the scarce radio frequencies at the bottom of the spectrum. (Glider, 1993) However, the policy of long and strong in respect of economizing on spectrum goes to using it all up.
While everyone talks louder, none can hear clearly. Presently, at the bottom of the spectrum there are full of spectrum hogging radios, pagers, phones, television, long distance, and point-to-point, aerospace and other applications that heavy breathing experts tell of running out of air. Shannon theory provides the solution to such problem. Shannon revealed that a flow of signals accord information only to the point that it entails unexpected data only to the point that it supplements to what is already acknowledged.
The substitute of Shannon to long and strong is wide and weak. He emphasized on not struggling with electrical power but joining it with noise like information. It is not talking louder but talking softer in more elaborate codes with application of more bandwidth. (Glider, 1993) To illustrate in transmitting about 40MB per second the necessity for really high-resolution images and sounds, Shannon could reveal about 45 years ago that applying more bandwidth can lower the needed signal-to-noise ratio from a level of one million to one to a ratio of 30. 6 to one.
Such a huge gain comes merely from enhancing the bandwidth of the signal from two megahertz to eight megahertz. This implies an enhancement of about 33000 times in sphere of communications efficiency in exchange for just a fourfold enhancement in bandwidth. This type of explosion of efficiency radically confines the necessity to waste watts in order to come across noise. More of the communications power hails from less electrical power. In this manner Shannon reveals the mode of fulfilling the vision of universal low-powered wireless communications. (Glider, 1993)
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