4/29/2003 - Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE:TXN) advanced semiconductor process technology is the foundation for the first integration of a complete ADSL router, including the 12-Volt (V) line driver, on a single chip. TI´s AR7, which was announced, is built with an advanced 130nm copper CMOS process that supports system-on-chip (SoC) integration of analog circuits with digital logic. By including the line driver, communications processor, power management and hundreds of passive components on a single sliver of silicon, TI is reducing the total system chip and passives count by up to 50 percent over competitive solutions, simplifying its customers´ designs and driving down system cost.
"TI's CMOS process gives our designers the freedom to integrate functions that other companies provide on separate chips or cannot offer at all," said Dr. Hans Stork, senior vice president and director of silicon technology development. "Analog integration in CMOS is becoming increasingly valuable for TI in high-volume, cost-sensitive applications like ADSL where a single-chip solution wins."
As the trend toward smaller, more integrated products continues, TI's advanced process technology will allow TI the flexibility to mix and match digital, analog, RF and memory components as needed to meet the needs of the company's broad base of customers. Consumers will be able to purchase more feature-laden, affordable products as integrated chips like the AR7 remove cost and components from the end system.
TI´s System on Chip Communications Portfolio
With the AR7 announcement, TI extends its integration strategy into wired communications and complements its wireless single-chip strategy. TI´s wireless SoC offering includes a single-chip BRF6100 Bluetooth product announced in June, 2002, that delivers a complete system for under $4. The BRF6100 was the first to include TI´s advanced Digital RF architecture that leverages digital processing capability to sample the radio signal. TI has announced plans to extend this architecture to a single-chip GSM cell phone product next year that will include software protocol stacks, the digital baseband, applications processing functionality, the analog baseband, power management, RF and embedded memory.
12-Volt Support Makes a Difference
The AR7 is the first ADSL product to integrate a 12V power rail and deliver the performance achievable with the higher voltage. Some competitive offerings have offered a 5V line driver that can negatively impact upstream and downstream performance; while others have simply chosen not to integrate the line driver because of the difficulty involved. Customer benefits include eliminating the cost and inventory management of a separate line driver and its associated filtering, and removing complexity of the printed circuit board design.
TI's 130nm process qualified for production in March, 2002, today supports 60 different products on both 300mm and 200mm wafers. The technology can support operating frequencies exceeding 1 gigahertz (GHz), internal voltages of 1.2V and below, and I/O signaling environments of up to 3.3V.
AR7 Reduces System BOM
The integration capability of TI´s 130nm copper process resulted in an AR7 device with 56 percent fewer components than its predecessor, the AR5 ADSL chipset. The chip combines a MIPS 32-bit RISC processor, a DSP-based digital transceiver, an ADSL analog front end (AFE) including line driver and receiver, power management and hundreds of passive components onto a single piece of silicon. In addition, the AR7 includes programmable digital filters in the receive section making it highly adaptable and supportive of all ADSL standards. For more information on TI´s DSL business or the AR7 please visit www.ti.com/dsl.
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