NEWS BRIEFS, December 2001

Collaboration Between Silicon Wave And Digianswer Software From Motorola To Deliver Bluetooth Solution

Silicon Wave, Inc. and Digianswer A/S, a subsidiary of Motorola, Inc. announced that Silicon Wave will combine both companies' Bluetooth Specification Version 1.1 qualified products to provide a comprehensive solution for adding Bluetooth wireless connectivity to PC products.  Through this relationship, Silicon Wave intends to enable notebooks, PC cards and USB adapters to be designed with proven hardware and software that is already Bluetooth Specification Version 1.1 qualified, thereby significantly reducing OEM development time while offering a seamless integration path.

Cypress QuadPortTM Datapath Switch Element (DSE) Portfolio Expands to Meet Customer Needs in SAN, WAN and Wireless Infrastructure Applications

Cypress Semiconductor announced the availability of samples for the 16 Kbits × 18 and 32 Kbits × 18 versions of the innovative QuadPort™ Datapath Switch Element (DSE) family.  These devices join the higher capacity QuadPort DSE (configured as 64 Kbits × 18) — currently in volume production — to offer customers a wider range of storage capacity offerings for data path management.  This high-performance family of communications devices targets high-end storage area networks (SANs), high-speed wide-area networks (WANs) and wireless infrastructure (WIN) applications.  When used in conjunction with the Cypress OC-48 port SERDES, Delta39K CPLDs and HOTLink family of backplane physical-layer devices, the QuadPort DSE family provides a complete system solution for customers building communications line cards.

Gigabit Based Station by Siemen AG

Siemens’s Gigaset 4170/4175isdn base station comprises a phone, fax and an ISDN-modem in one compact package.  The discreet base station enables wireless Internet access in ISDN speed and wire free telephony for up to eight mobile devices.  Designed to easily integrate with existing home communication products, the system offers wireless Internet access by connecting its ultra-light Gigaset M105data USB Adapter or Gigaset M101data serial adapter to Desktop PCs or notebooks.  Alternatively, these base stations also provide conventional corded Internet access for a desktop PC or notebook via the base station.

High-Speed Data Converters Offer Innovative Architecture and Small Packaging




Fairchild Semiconductor International has introduced its FMS9884A-175, a 3-channel, high-speed 8-bit analog-to-digital (ADC) optimized for delivering superior picture quality in high-end computer graphics display/monitor applications.  Now available in a 175 MSPS version, the FMS9884A-175’s architecture optimizes and encodes the analog RGB signal, prior to formatting for display, on the new-generation flat panel displays and projector systems.  The device converts images up to 1600 ×1200-pixel (SXGA) resolution at 65 Hz rates, or up to 1600 × 1200 pixels at 85 Hz using alternate-pixel sampling.  Key design technologies featured in the FMS9884A-175 include an adaptive PLL (phase-lock loop) generating a very low-jitter pixel clock, which is critical to achieving sharp, crystal-clear images.  The device also features an onboard voltage reference, single or dual-port digital outputs, input clamps and programmable variable-gain amplifiers to optimize the input signal range.  Because it comes in a 128-lead MQFP package, the product provides a very low parts count and is competitively priced.

National Semiconductor Announces Industry's First Scanner-On-A-Chip

National Semiconductor has just released a system-on-a-chip for color image and document scanners.  Its new LM9830 is a complete 36-Bit Document Scanner system on a single dime-sized IC with applications in color flatbed and sheetfed document scanners.  The LM9830 incorporates all the functions of a high-performance color scanner, including analog front end, sensor clock generation, micro stepping motor control, data buffering and parallel port interface into a single integrated circuit.  It replaces dozens of ICs that were previously required to do the same job.  In addition, it has fine control over system clock rates that allows matching the scanner clock rate to the parallel port interface speed. This improvement results in scan speeds that are as much as four times faster than current multiple part parallel scanners.  The LM9830 is powered by a single 5 V source and typically dissipates just 350 mW.  It includes a low-power standby mode for power down capability.

Dallas Semiconductor's DS87C550 Microcontroller Offers Enhanced Features

Dallas Semiconductor is offering its DS87C550 EPROM high-speed microcontroller with an on-chip A/D converter and pulse width modulation (PWM). The device surrounds the 8051-type processor core with additional circuitry to meet a wider variety of real-world applications.  The company claims that the device executes 8051 instructions up to three times faster than the original 8051 architecture at the same crystal speed.  An instruction processed on a DS87C550 typically uses only four clock cycles instead of 12, tripling the speed of a standard 8051.  That is a maximum crystal speed of 33 MHz gives the DS87C550 apparent execution speeds of up to 99 MHz and a single-cycle instruction executes in just 121 ns.

Yankee Group: Handset Volume to Hit 296 Million in Asia Pacific Region by 2005

Cellular handset shipments in the Asia Pacific region will jump from 162.3 million units in 2001 to 296.2 million in 2005, according to a new forecast released by the Yankee Group.  In the Asia Pacific region--now the largest cellular phone market in the world--replacement handsets for third-generation services will play a key role in the strong growth over the next four years, said the Boston-based research firm.  The Yankee Group said 3G cellular growth will accelerate in the region, including China and India, with wideband code-division multiple access (W-CDMA) accounting for 129.3 million handsets in 2005 while cdma2000 1x EV units will total 39.1 million that year in the region.

PMC-Sierra Collaborates with TSMC on 0.13-micron and below IC Designs

PMC-Sierra Inc. has announced it will collaborate with silicon foundry supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. to develop system-on-chip (SoC) products, based on TSMC's new 0.13-micron process technologies.  The Canadian broadband communications chip supplier said its SoC devices will support multiple 3.125-gigabit-per-second serial links and SSTL2 interfaces, while containing more than 12 megabits of embedded SRAM, RISC processor cores, and more than 4 million logic gates on an IC.  PMC-Sierra says that it is among the first companies to implement SoC designs on TSMC's 0.13-micron CMOS processes.  PMC-Sierra's first 0.13-micron device uses the company's 64-bit RM7000B core, which is based on a RISC architecture from MIPS Technologies Inc. and operates at clock speeds up to 500 MHz.  Its SoC designs will also use the RM9000x2 dual central processor core, which runs at 1-GHz speeds.  PMC-Sierra is also now working with TSMC to port future products to next-generation foundry processes, including 0.10-micron technology.

Cypress Unveils Prototype of Integrated Optical Transceiver Module

Cypress Semiconductor Silicon Light Machines Division has announced working prototypes of an internally developed parallel optical transceiver module, which will be used to develop next-generation optical transceiver and transponder modules for high-bandwidth interconnects in next-generation switches and routers.  Cypress said the module includes mechanical, optical, opto-mechanical and electronic technologies.  The module will enable high-speed optical interconnects that integrate a photo detector (PD), a vertical-cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL), a transimpedance amplifier (TIA), and a laser device driver (LDD) into a highly integrated package for reduced space and costs, said the company.  Further integration will include additional functions, including serializer/deserializer (SerDes) devices.  Cypress said this technology will enhance Cypress' complete line card solution for optical networks, including PHYs, memory, logic, network coprocessors, network search engines, framers/mappers, and now optical modules.

Motorola Chipset Targets Mobile Phone/headset Bluetooth Connections

Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector has unleashed a two-chip RF/baseband solution, GaAs power amplifier, and power management chip for developers looking to bring Bluetooth connectivity to their designs.  Motorola has focused its attention on the Bluetooth link between mobile handsets and wireless headset designs.  And, in doing so, has made some optimizations to the RF front-end and baseband chip architectures in the chipset to meet the specific needs of this link.


Motorola has built in audio signal processing circuitry into its baseband architecture, which solves two issues for system designers.  The first is the elimination of the echo canceller from the architecture. The second is the ability to avoid switching delays in the system architecture, which cause increased noise and pesky clicking sounds in an end users ear.  Optimizations for handset/headset links have also been made in the RF transceiver.  One of the biggest is the ability to share the clock inherent in existing mobile phone architectures.  The new chip set sports a fractional N synthesizer that operates from 10 to 26 MHz, allowing the transceiver to hook into a variety of clocks.  This is an important point because by offering this level of functionality, the new chip set will not be limited to only GSM or only CDMA operation.  Rather is can be rolled out in a variety of mobile phone architectures as well as mobile phone designs housing a host of RF front ends.


Overall, the chip set includes the MC71000 ARM7-ased baseband processor that is equipped with a Bluetooth-complaint host controller interface (HCI), the MC13180 RF BiCMOS transceiver, the MRFIC2408 power amplifier, and the Digianswer software solutions. Additionally, for designers implementing this receiver in systems other than mobiles, a power management chip is available to help reduce overall system power consumption.

IEEE Approves Fixed Broadband Wireless Standard

The IEEE has formally approved its air interface standard for fixed broadband wireless systems.  Standard 802.16, which is applicable for 10- to 66-GHz systems, sets the stage for the rapid development of wireless high-speed metropolitan-area networks for last-mile access, the IEEE said.  Designed to enable devices from different manufacturers to interoperate, the standard creates a platform on which high-rate systems can be installed rapidly without extensive metropolitan cable infrastructures.  The standard's media-access control (MAC) layer supports multiple physical layer specifications.  The current physical layer is optimized for bands from 10 to 66 GHz, and extensions to the 2- to 11-GHz bands are expected to be completed next summer by the 802.16a working group.  The new WirelessMAN standard is a groundbreaking development that changes the landscape for providers and customers of high-speed networks, the IEEE said.  The standard makes highly efficient use of bandwidth and supports voice, video and data applications with the quality that customers demand.