Gibson shipping an Ethernet guitar

Gibson is shipping an Ethernet-capable electric guitar that uses cheap Cat 5 cable instead of big-dick analog cables.

"The protocol itself is kind of complex," said Vallier. "We use the packets themselves to clock each end of the signal because we can't have jitter. We can't have someone hearing a crack."

The current incarnation of the hardware is based on a custom media-access controller developed by Vallier and running on an Analog Devices Sharc DSP working with an FPGA designed by Schmidt and standard 100-Mbit/s Ethernet PHY chips. A separate analog board, designed by Gibson's Mike Dibble, uses multichannel preamps and four-channel A/D converters with integrated op amps.



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