Our lives grow more complex, it seems, by the minute. More things must be accomplished, more places must be visited, and more people must be contacted. The pace of business is accelerating, and the rise of the global economy has brought the far corners of the world within our grasp. The engine of this growth has been the worldwide telecommunications network, and service providers worldwide are responding to this growth by providing more connections to more customers in more ways than ever before. The integration of these vast and complex capabilities involves many technologies, but the most important, and most central to these is the directory. Directories provide basic search and retrieval functions that are critical to nearly every type of modern telecommunications function.
In the late 1970s, the first room-sized liquid-cooled Cray-1 was built, clocking in at 136 MFlops of sustained arithmetic computation. The term supercomputer was coined to described the unprecedented computational capabilities of the machine, and a new generation of computing technology was born. Barely three decades hence, garden-variety handheld smart phones are approaching 50 Mflops, and a high-end desktop computers are typically measured in gigaflops. Such massive increases in power and equally massive decreases in size have given rise to enormous complexity in integrated circuit design, with it’s attendant challenges of manufacturing complexity, heat dissipation, and problem diagnosis. Modern mobile computing exacerbates theses challenges with environmental unpredictability, and the need for consumer ergonomics is frequently at odds with design for manufacturability. The end result: the exploding power and sophistication in consumer-grade electronics has given rise to the need for frequent repairs which can be expensive to correct, and time-consuming to complete.
In telecommunications, the transition to a global economy has become a reality. For business and personal affairs, for public and private communications, our society’s frame of reference is no longer primarily local – it has become international in scope. This represents a dramatic change from even five years ago, and recent world events are accelerating this trend