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PDA / OptiPhone-based Decomposed Communication Unit Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020764D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Jan-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Jan-25

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Today, IP phone implementations use proprietary phone hardware running a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) enabled phone SW. Although a stimulus protocol is used to control the phone, which allows to use a cheaper phone hardware in the TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) world, this advantage of stimulus protocols compared to functional protocols is no longer valid for VoIP. This is because of the additional requirements of IP telephony, like the usage of a H.323 stack for payload establishment, QoS (Quality of Service) reporting, SW deployment etc. Therefore, VoIP phones require a phone hardware with a powerful CPU (Central Processing Unit) and sufficient memory space, which makes the phone hardware significantly more expensive. So far phones are built as an all in one solution. At most there is an adaptor concept, which allows the user to add special extensions to the phone like dial key modules, analogue adaptors, display modules etc. The phone itself is not designed in a modular way. Therefore, it is proposed to separate the controlling unit (CPU, Memory) of a phone from its Input/Output devices (Keys, LEDs, Hook, Speaker, Microphone etc.). For the controlling unit, an off-the-shelf PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) running a standard Operating System (OS) can be used. The existing phone SW or a PC-based phone client is ported to the PDA. The "reduced" phone hardware with the I/O devices is used as a docking station for the PDA. The PDA controls the phone using a stimulus protocol that allows to build a cheap "phone docking station". The PDA and the "phone docking station" together constitute the IP phone, the "optiPDA" (Figure 1,2).