Guitar-manufacturing legend Gibson is developing instruments that carry Ethernet support.

The company is working with 3Com, AMD and Xilinx to create a protocol called MaGIC to carry digitized live instrument data. The company demonstrated its first electric guitar integrating the standard in October last year.

MaGIC is a connectivity standard based on Ethernet that will bring about "a convergence of computer, telecommunications and consumer electronic industries", according to the company.

However, it is not clear if Gibson's solution will be supported on Macs, as AMD vice president of marketing Ed Ellett said: "We're excited that the Gibson brand will be based on our technology."

Gibson chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz said: "Computers, telecommunication and consumer-electronic devices have developed their own separate, high-bandwidth highways, but for the average consumer, there's no entrance ramp to these highways.

"We will use MaGIC to replace a variety of different ways of accessing audio and video information with one connector and a system which instantly configures itself to whatever form the audio or video information takes. Like the guitar, you plug it in, and it works."

MaGIC stands for Media-accelerated Global Information Carrier. It makes a standard category five Ethernet cable act like a super cable, capable of carrying up to 32 channels of 32-bit, 48kHz uncompressed digital sound in both directions (64 channels total), with a control stream 100 times as powerful as MIDI over a single wire. It allows for professional real-time synchronization of hundreds of instruments and devices, according to Gibson.