Cambridge Ring
The Cambridge Ring was an experimental local area network
Local area network
A local area network is a computer network that interconnects computers in a limited area such as a home, school, computer laboratory, or office building...

 architecture developed at the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory in the mid-late 1970s and early 1980s. It used a ring topology
Topology is a major area of mathematics concerned with properties that are preserved under continuous deformations of objects, such as deformations that involve stretching, but no tearing or gluing...

 with a theoretical limit of 255 node
Node (networking)
In communication networks, a node is a connection point, either a redistribution point or a communication endpoint . The definition of a node depends on the network and protocol layer referred to...

s (though such a large number would have badly affected performance), around which cycled a fixed number of packets. Free packets would be "loaded" with data by a machine wishing to send, marked as received by the destination machine, and "unloaded" on return to the sender; thus in principle there could be as many simultaneous senders as packets. The network ran over twin twisted-pair cabling (plus a fibre-optic section).

People associated with the project include Andy Hopper
Andy Hopper
Andrew Hopper CBE FRS FREng FIET is the Professor of Computer Technology and Head of the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory and an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge.-Research:...

, David Wheeler, Maurice Wilkes, and Roger Needham
Roger Needham
Roger Michael Needham, CBE, FRS, FREng was a British computer scientist.-Early life:He attended Doncaster Grammar School for Boys in Doncaster ....


Apple Inc. copied most of the (unpatented) architecture and renamed it AppleTalk
AppleTalk is a proprietary suite of protocols developed by Apple Inc. for networking computers. It was included in the original Macintosh released in 1984, but is now unsupported as of the release of Mac OS X v10.6 in 2009 in favor of TCP/IP networking...


In 2002 the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory launched a graduate society called the Cambridge Computer Lab Ring
Cambridge Computer Lab Ring
The Cambridge Computer Lab Ring is a not-for-profit independent members' association that campaigns on behalf of Cambridge computer scientists to build the Cambridge community in computing...

named after the Cambridge Ring.

External links

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