2/19/2003 - Exar Corporation (Nasdaq: EXAR), a leading provider of high-performance, mixed-signal silicon solutions for the worldwide communications infrastructure, announced the industry's first PCI Bus Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter (UARTs) product family that targets the growing market adoption of Universal PCI add-in cards. First in the series of multi-channel devices, the XR17D152 (two-channel) is targeted at newer 3.3V and legacy 5V designs. Also in the series are the XR17D154 (four-channel) and XR17D158 (eight-channel) devices. The series complies with the industry PCI Bus specifications version 2.3 signaling. The devices are aimed at Universal PCI add-in card applications including Point-of-Sale (POS), system management, portable communication systems and serial port solutions in the CompactPCI, PMC, VME and PC/104 Plus form factors.
"The launch of the XR17D15x series clearly establishes Exar as the technology and innovation leader in the PCI Bus 32-bit multi-channel UART market," said Dr. Roubik Gregorian, CTO, executive VP and general manager Communications Division. "The ability to support both 3.3V and 5V platforms from a single series, added to our already market-proven pin-to-pin compatible 5V-only parts (XR17C15x) and 3.3V only devices (XR17L15x) offers customers the industry's broadest PCI compliant UART design environment."
The new series meets 3.3V and 5V PCI Bus version 2.3 signaling specifications at full 33 MHz clock speed (four times faster than the conventional ISA bus). This provides a direct interface to the PCI Bus eliminating the need for a PCI-Local bus bridge. As a result it reduces system cost and board space requirements.
The XR17D15x series senses the supply voltage and provides an auto-configuration facility for plug-and-play installation. The new series supports the full 32-bit data bus width that facilitates the transfer of more data bytes during each receiver or transmitter interrupt service routine hence reducing the CPU bandwidth requirements. Additionally, its 32-bit global interrupt source register provides the status of each receiver and transmitter channel, establishing a more efficient use of the operating system's device driver resulting in an increase in overall system performance.
"Because the software drivers are virtually the same throughout the series, existing Exar (XR17C15x and XR17L15x) customers can easily migrate to the XR17D15x family without sacrificing their investment in the original software driver development, testing and diagnostic procedures," said Sun-Man Lo, strategic marketing manager, data communications. "This accelerates time-to-market and reduces overall system cost."
The new series has 64 bytes of TX and RX FIFOs in each UART channel and is capable of supporting serial data rates up to 6.25 Mbps. Also, the RTS/CTS or DTR/DSR automatic hardware and Xon/Xoff software flow control feature prevents data loss for higher system performance. Each channel has an automatic RS485 half-duplex direction control output with programmable turn-around delay feature that simplifies hardware and software development. This feature can compensate for signal propagation delays in installations that require long cable lengths.
The internal registers (fifth generation) include the industry standard 16C550 and Exar's enhanced registers for the additional requirements of today's data communications needs. Furthermore, the devices offer programmable TX and RX FIFO trigger levels, FIFO level counters, wireless infrared (IrDA) encoder/decoder, device identification, and sleep mode with wake-up indicator.
Prices, Packages and Availability
The two-channel device, XR17D152CM, is offered in a 100-pin TQFP package and priced at $10.54 for 1,000 piece quantities with samples available in March 2003. The four-channel device, XR17D154CV is priced at $15.82 for 1,000 piece quantities, and the eight-channel device, XR17D158CV is priced at $23.72 for 1,000 piece quantities. Both the four and eight-channel devices come in a 144-TQFP package and will begin sampling in April 2003. All three devices are offered in both commercial and industrial temperature ranges.
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. Additionally, Exar offers ICs for both the serial communications and the video and imaging markets. The Company is based in Fremont, CA, had fiscal 2002 revenues of $55 million, and employs approximately 265 people worldwide. For more information about Exar, visit www.exar.com.
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