Patent Number: 6,490,281

Title: Apparatus including a scalable multiprotocol communications adapter using modular components and a method for transmitting data frames via scalable multiprotocol communication adapters

Abstract: A programmable multispeed communication apparatus includes a plurality of identical media access control (MAC) units for use with a programmable data processing system. The MAC units when multiplexed and connected to a communication media achieve a transmission speed n.multidot.s where n is the number of MAC units and s is the speed of the individual MACs. If one or more but not all of the MAC units fail, the apparatus will operate in degraded mode with the remaining active MAC units. User frames are sequentially numbered, partitioned into sequentially numbered partitions which are assigned to one or more MAC's. Each of the partitions includes a prefix which includes the sequential frame number, the sequential partition number and an indicator for distinguishing the last partition of a frame from the other partitions of that frame.

Inventors: Abler; Joseph Michael (Raleigh, NC), Ellington, Jr.; William Woollcott (Raleigh, NC), Holland; William Gavin (Cary, NC), Noel, Jr.; Francis Edward (Durham, NC), Tomek; Lorrie Ann (Durham, NC)

Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation

International Classification: H04L 12/56 (20060101); H04L 012/28 ()

Expiration Date: 12/03/2011