On Distributed Communications Series
VIII. The Multiplexing Station
It appears to be feasible to construct the Multiplexing Station within the 1963 state of the computer art.
The use of all-digital transmission and switching of standardized Message Blocks greatly facilitates the addition of new features thought desirable in future communications networks for military and civilian applications. The ease of providing these new services, in comparison to present-day practice, seems to make this new form of communication network desirable--even in those applications where no vulnerability problem exists.
The reader should be cautioned that this preliminary investigation was carried out only to the degree of detail necessary to provide an indication of the degree of complexity to be expected, and to pin-point obviously insurmountable design problems. One weakness did present itself: In the first-cut examination, in retrospect, we feel we have tended to place too much reliance upon a single common-control apparatus. At a price of a moderate increase in the number of components and a more elegant design, a Multiplexing Station might result which is less prone to loss of station performance merely because a few components here and there have chosen to fail.
It is suggested that such a new design, still limited to the use of low-cost, modest-reliability elements, could be organized to better divide the common-control function. This is, it should be noted, not a new problem, but one faced in the design of every common-control telephone central office switching apparatus. It was not felt that such a careful redesign was necessary at this stage of consideration.