Case Studies

R&D Consulting – Product Design and Standards

IEEE 1394 (also known as FireWire) is a LAN (local area network) that is widely used on PC’s, disk drives, and audio/video equipment as well as industrial applications such as process control equipment and security cameras. We were approached by an audio equipment company to assist with the development of higher-speed FireWire interfaces using unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cabling. Working with a semiconductor company, we developed a prototype UTP interface that operates at 400 Mb/s (as compared with 100 Mb/s which was previously available.) We designed and constructed prototype circuit boards which our client demonstrated at conferences and trade shows. In conjunction with this work, we coauthored and edited a technical specification for enhanced UTP interfaces that was approved by the 1394 Trade Association and incorporated in the IEEE 1394-2008 standard.

R&D consulting – Standards

A large communications equipment company needed assistance with industry standards for both telecommunications cabling systems and Local Area Networks. The standards at issue were those developed by the IEEE 1394 working group (FireWire) and the TIA TR-42 engineering committee (Telecommunications Cabling Systems). We advised our client on strategic and technical issues and participated in both the IEEE and TIA standards committees. Favorable results were achieved in a number of areas including the IEEE 1394c and TIA Augmented Category 6 standards. Baxter Enterprises remains a member of both of these committees and currently chairs the IEEE 1394 working group.

R&D consulting – Product Design

A large international manufacturer of telecommunications cable was looking for help in improving product quality, designing new state-of-the-art products, and expanding their customer base. We served as the CTO to coordinate technical issues across the client’s business. This included consulting on manufacturing and product quality issues which resulted in a significant improvement in quality, yield, and headroom above specifications. We were also responsible for the design of new high performance products including Cat 6 FTP, Cat 6A UTP, and Cat 7 STP cables. In addition, we worked with major customers, and potential new customers, to ensure that our client’s products met their needs.

Network Design

An architectural firm was moving to a newly renovated building. We consulted on the telecommunications and cabling needs for the new space. Specific tasks included:
  • Reviewing and commenting on vendor proposals for a telecommunications system to ensure that the firm's needs were met in a cost-effective manner.
  • Designing the cabling infrastructure for the voice and data networks in the building.
  • Supervising the installation of the cabling.
  • Designing and procuring an audio system for the building.
The relocation was accomplished on schedule without disruption of telecommunications and data networking services.

Expert Witness – Patent Infringement/Invalidity

Our client, a mid-sized manufacturer of telecommunications cable, was accused of infringing several patents that belong to a larger competitor. The patents involved various techniques for improving the performance of twisted pair cable as well as manufacturing methods. We worked with our client’s law firm and provided technical advice related to their claim of invalidity, including:
  • identified and evaluated prior art
  • submitted an expert report on invalidity
  • submitted a rebuttal expert report on infringement
  • gave a deposition
  • served as the lead witness at trial.
Ultimately, advantageous non-infringement rulings were obtained and 8 of the 12 asserted claims were determined to be invalid.

Clients

Our clients range from start-ups to industry leaders and include companies in the following industries:

  • Architects
  • Consulting firms
  • Automotive suppliers
  • Defense/aerospace contractors
  • Educational / publishing firms
  • Trade associations
  • Law firms

As well as companies that manufacture:

  • Structured cabling systems
  • Semiconductors
  • LAN Interfaces
  • Customer premises telecommunications equipment
  • Optical networking
  • Audio equipment
  • Video conferencing


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