Gibson Labs Magic protocol provides high-speed, real-time multimedia connectivity.****Net.Worker newsletter readers:https:\/\/www.nwwsubscribe.com\/changes.aspxGood news! We've expanded our Net.Worker newsletter to include three separate newsletters: Telework Beat, Small Business Technology and SOHO Life.\u00a0 As a subscriber to Net.Worker, each Tuesday Telework Beat will continue to bring you weekly news and trends in the world of remote work and home networking. Each Thursday Small Business Technology will bring small business advice, insight and product reviews. On June 4 we launch SOHO Life, a new\u00a0 newsletter that combines Jeff Zbar's long-running Home Base newsletter, which focuses on ways to optimize your home and small business, and Instat\/MDR analyst Mike Wolf's Digital Domicile, which provides analysis of home network and digital entertainment trends. This week, we'll send you SOHO Life as a courtesy, but after that, you'll need to sign up for it to keep receiving it. Sign up now at ****Last week (https:\/\/www.nwfusion.com\/net.worker\/columnists\/2003\/0526kistner.html)\u00a0we looked at three emerging home network standards, OSGi, WiMedia and Zigbee. To further complicate things, this week we\u2019ll look at a fourth:\u00a0Magic (http:\/\/www.gibsonmagic.com), or the Media-Accelerated Global Information Carrier protocol, developed by Gibson Labs.Magic is a multimedia protocol that routes and sends audio, video, MIDI, control information or other data over long distances (up to 100 meters) using standard Cat-5 Ethernet cables. Gibson created Magic to compliment its line of digital guitars, as a cable replacement to make it easier for musicians during live performances to connect their instruments, amplifiers, receivers and the like. Gibson introduced the first Magic speakers, amplifiers and audio systems last year, and the company is working with 3Com to build Magic chips to embed in a variety of devices.In essence, Magic enhances Ethernet, making it a reliable, suitable transport mechanism for multimedia. Magic has the ability to do isochronous (or time-dependant) transfers inside Ethernet, which allows for deterministic latency between two points. In other words, if you send a data packet, you\u2019ll know it will get to its destination in a specific amount of time. Magic transmits packets at a fixed size and at a fixed rate, which is what media requires. Ethernet doesn\u2019t do that because it was designed as a document delivery system, a way to get a file to a laser printer. When it got there didn\u2019t matter, so long as it got there fast.\u201cWhen we originally set forth to make the digital guitar, we needed some sort of audio standard that could play the notes in real time,\u201d says Nathan Yeakel, Gibson Labs CTO. \u201cIf you\u2019re playing an instrument, you can\u2019t have any perceivable delay. Magic lets us do audio and video distribution with extremely low latency.\u201dThe protocol uses Universal Plug and Play for auto-discovery, meaning Magic-enabled devices simply need to be plugged in to each other to work. Magic allows for Fast Ethernet data rates of 85M bit\/sec, and 850M bit\/sec over gigabit. It supports power over Ethernet and competes with IEEE 1394 and analog connections.Rightfully so, Magic is catching the attention of consumer electronics manufacturers and is taking steps to get the word out. Gibson\u2019s talked to Microsoft and Intel, and is in discussions with a very large consumer electronics manufacturer. The guitar maker is working to get a study group together with the IEEE, and its taken part in some meetings at the Consumer Electronics Association.Gibson envisions Magic will be used as a home network backbone technology, in homes that are already wired for Ethernet. Magic is compatible with wireless standards, but it requires a very high level of quality of service, which wireless can\u2019t yet provide. Yeakel says Gibson is watching Ultra Wideband technology very closely.