Exar Introduces Smallest Full Featured Single-Channel UART

11/5/2003 - Exar Corporation (Nasdaq: EXAR), a leading provider of high-performance, mixed-signal silicon solutions for the worldwide communications infrastructure, released the industry’s smallest full featured single-channel Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter (UART) for low voltage (2.25V) serial communications platforms. Available in the 32-pin QFN package (5x5x0.9mm), the XR16L580 is compliant with Intel or Motorola data bus interfaces. It is ideal for a variety of portable and handheld applications where board space is minimal and extended battery life is critical. Applications include portable communication systems such as handheld data entry terminals and tablets, Point-of-Sale (POS) credit authorization terminals, global positioning systems (GPS) and data ports in cellular phones. In addition, it is suitable for wireless infrared systems, cellular base stations, and handheld instruments.

“Using its system knowledge to offer leadership serial communications solutions, Exar has taken an industry standard device and enhanced its features to address the specific requirements of portable and battery operated products,” said Susan Hardman, vice president and general manager of the Interface Products Division. “This new product further expands the Company’s broad portfolio of unique UART solutions targeted to meet the system needs of telecom and industrial customers.”

Product Details
The XR16L580 operates from a low 2.25V to 5.5V with 5V tolerant inputs. For handheld applications, the 32-pin QFN packaged device occupies very little board space while preserving the standard 8-bit CPU and modem interface. To ease hardware design, it includes a pin to select between Intel or Motorola data bus interface that simplifies bus timing and can reduce the overall design cycle. Offered earlier this year in the dual-channel XR16L2551, and now on the XR16L580, the Power-Save feature extends battery operation by decreasing the power consumption of the chip to less than 30uA during sleep mode when the system is inactive. The Power-Save feature can lower the overall system cost because it eliminates the need for two external data bus buffers.

“The benefits of reduced power consumption and board space broaden the applications of the XR16L580 in many market segments,” said Sun-Man Lo, strategic marketing director, Interface Products Division.

In addition, standard hardware (RTS/CTS) or software (Xon/Xoff) flow control mechanisms are provided to prevent receiver overrun and avoid unnecessary data retransmission, thus, enhancing the system’s overall performance. The XR16L580 has an internal loopback facility enabling power-up system diagnostics plus on-board status registers.

The XR16L580 is register compatible to industry standard 16C450/550, ST16C450, ST16C550, ST16C580 and ST16C650A. This ability enables the use of existing popular operating system drivers (Windows NT/2K/XP/CE, Linux and VxWorks); or, existing code can be easily migrated to implement the new features. This is an essential feature for a quick transition from device design to finished product to address rapidly changing markets.

Packages, Prices and Availability
For 1,000 piece quantities, the XR16L580IL (32-QFN) and XR16L580IM (48-TQFP) are priced at approximately $1.75. The device operates over industrial temperature ranges and samples are available now.

About Exar
Exar Corporation (NASDAQ: EXAR) designs, develops and markets high-performance, analog and mixed-signal silicon solutions for the worldwide communications infrastructure. Leveraging its industry-proven analog design expertise, system-level knowledge and standard CMOS process technologies, Exar provides OEMs innovative, highly integrated ICs that facilitate the transport and aggregation of signals in access, metro and wide area networks. The Company's physical layer silicon solutions address transmission standards such as T/E carrier, ATM and SONET. The Company also provides one of the industry’s most comprehensive families of serial communications solutions. Within this product offering, the low voltage and multi-channel universal asynchronous receiver transmitters are particularly well suited to support high data rate and increasing data transfer efficiency requirements for various industrial, telecom and computer server applications. In addition, the Company designs, develops and markets IC products that address select applications for the video and imaging markets. The Company is based in Fremont, CA, had fiscal 2003 revenues of $67 million, and employs approximately 265 people worldwide.

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