The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on Friday announced the ratification of VDSL2, a copper-based technology that aims to deliver symmetrical 100 Mbps services — about 10 times faster than "plain vanilla" ADSL.

In addition to higher speeds, VDSL2 is also designed to interoperate with legacy DSL equipment and to support ATM networks and more advanced IP-based grids.

"This new standard is set to become an extremely important feature of the telecommunications landscape, and is a landmark achievement for our members, many of whom are relying on this Recommendation to take their business to the next level," said Yoichi Maeda, chairman of the ITU Telecommunications Standardization Sector study Group.

Soon after the ITU announcement, chip vendors announced their support for VDSL2.

Germany's Infineon Technologies AG was first out of the chute with VINAX, a silicon system that supports both VDSL2 and ADSL2+. Infineon claimed the system could drive symmetric 100 Mbps links at distances greater than 1,150 feet, about double the reach of legacy VDSL platforms.

Conexant Systems followed with Accelity, a family of VDSL and VDSL2 chipsets for central offices and customer premise gear. Conexant said it has shipped more than 130 million DSL ports worldwide.

Despite the ratification of VDSL2, some chip vendors are still pushing the original VDSL platform. Last month, ElectriPHY Corp., a newcomer to the sector, entered the market with silicon that promises VDSL performance at ADSL2+ prices.