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Press Release

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March 19, 2001

Sharp and Sony Formalize Specifications and Will Begin Licensing for "OP i.LINK v1.0" Digital Optical Fiber Interface

Sharp Corporation
Sony Corporation

Sharp Corporation (head office: Osaka, president: Katsuhiko Machida) and Sony Corporation (head office: Tokyo, president and COO: Kunitake Andoh) have formalized specifications for Version 1.0 of "OP i.LINK," a digital interface using optical fibers for connecting audio, video, and IT products aimed at home networks in the era of broadband communications. The two companies will begin licensing the specifications from April 2, 2001.

OP i.LINK is based on IEEE 1394a-2000, the latest supplement to the IEEE 1394 High Performance Serial Bus (also known as "FireWire") communications protocol, and is designed for the transfer of still images, full-motion video, music and data files via a single-core plastic optical fiber (POF). It is fully compatible with the i.LINK protocol based on IEEE 1394, which uses conventional metallic conductors.

The Version 1.0 specifications, which will be licensed on a fee basis, include optical and electrical characteristics, dimensional standards for connectors, physical layer IC specifications and bus manager implementation rules, as well as relevant testing and measurement methods.

A program for testing and logo mark licensing (to certify conforming to OP iLINK specifications) under the aegis of third-party testing organizations will be also implemented to ensure the interoperability of devices and digital audio/video and IT products based on these specifications.

Sharp Corporation and Sony Corporation are proposing that this jointly developed OP i.LINK digital optical fiber interface be incorporated into various products such as digital audio/video and IT equipment with the aim of facilitating the development of "home networks." The two companies are also committed to on-going development work for Version 2.0 specifications which will enable transmission rates up to 400 Mbps.

[OP i.LINK Ver. 1.0 Main Specifications]

Transmission method Single-core plastic optical fiber (POF), full-duplex transmission system
Optical fiber SI (step index) type
Light-emitting element LED (light emitting diode), LD (laser diode)
Emission wavelength 650 nm
Coding scheme 8B10B
Transmission distance 60 cm to 10 m
Transmission rate 100 Mbps
Connector types
Super miniature jack connector (2.5-mm-dia.) Primary application: compact portable devices such as PDAs and mobile phones

Miniature jack connector (3.5-mm-dia.) Primary application: the front panel of console-type audio/video equipment and desktop IT devices, portable audio/video devices such as portable CD players and camcorders

Mechanical lock connector
Primary application: the back panel of console-type audio/video equipment and desktop IT devices

For licensing information, please contact:
Tomohiko Yoshida
Senior Technical Specialist, IP Team,
Electronic Components Laboratories Electronic Components Group, Sharp Corporation
tel: +81-745-63-8543
e-mail: < >