Breakthrough ADSL Router-on-a-Chip from TI Provides Enhanced Home Networking for Consumers

4/29/2003 - The first fully integrated ADSL access router-on-a-chip with an unprecedented level of performance was introduced by Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE:TXN). Through integration of digital and analog functions, as well as power management and hundreds of system components on one piece of silicon, TI enables up to 25 percent reduction in rest of bill of materials (RBOM) over competitive solutions. The complete router offers ADSL modem manufacturers unique flexibility and performance capabilities to help service providers deliver enhanced broadband services such as home networking and gaming more comprehensively and profitably.

"With today's need for time to market and restrained design resources, CPE system designers are looking for highly integrated solutions," said Mike Wolf, Director of Enterprise and Residential Communications, In-Stat/MDR. "This makes the AR7 a perfect candidate, with its high level of integration and impressive flexibility. The DSL market is striving to increase the availability of service and retain customers with new applications. With the AR7, TI is allowing operators to affordably deliver improved home networking, gaming and even video applications to increase end-user benefits."

Through TI's advanced processing technology, the AR7 combines a MIPS 32-bit RISC processor, a DSP-based digital transceiver, an ADSL analog front end (AFE) including line driver and receiver and power management onto a single piece of silicon. The AR7 delivers greater than 50 percent more processing power and consists of less than half the components of its predecessor, the AR5 ADSL chipset. As a result, with AR7 OEMs and original design manufacturers (ODMs) can improve their time to market and simplify modem design for next generation products.

Meeting Service Providers´ Requirements with Unparalleled Performance
There were more than 36 million DSL lines deployed worldwide by year-end 2002, TI´s end-to-end central office and CPE solutions accounted for over 20 million ports*. With this growth, service providers are looking for support of next generation features rather than asking their equipment vendors to simply help them keep up with demand for service.

The AR7 addresses service providers´ need to reduce subscriber turn-over by providing improved support for applications such as multi-PC home networking and the ability to provide service to households they previously could not reach due to distance limitations. To accomplish this, the company is introducing two new TI technologies, TurboDSLTM packet accelerator and dynamic adaptive equalization, as well as support for standardized ADSL2+ in the AR7.

Through TI´s TurboDSL packet accelerator in the AR7, ADSL routers provide 300 percent faster packet acknowledgement than current chipset solutions which improve downstream data rates. This enables every user on a home network to experience continuous high-speed connectivity. It also enables smooth transmission of streaming video and increases response time for speed-sensitive applications such as interactive gaming.

To expand operators´ service area, TI has developed dynamic adaptive equalization (DAE), a unique function provided by the AR7. This enables carriers to more completely cover a given service area where DSL had been undeliverable before. In particular, DAE can enable service to copper access lines that contain bridge taps, which has been a hurdle for DSL deployment with older local loops.

To deliver ADSL up to and beyond 20Mbps, the AR7 supports standards-based ADSL2+, as well as support for proprietary implementations in central offices today. This data rate increase will make video on demand applications a reality by enabling consumers to stream two to three DVD-quality videos at a time.

"We wanted to raise the bar for ADSL CPE designs and provide the first fully integrated ADSL router on a chip. With the AR7 we have leveraged our process technology, history in end-to-end DSL technology leadership, interoperability, and understanding of OEM and operator requirements to deliver a low-cost DSL solution to increase worldwide DSL deployments," said Greg Jones, general manager of TI's DSL Business Unit.

OEMs can implement a full-featured, expandable multi-port gateway kit to increase functionality by connecting the AR7 to a four-port Ethernet switch or TI's TNETW1130 802.11a/b/g solution. Through TI's comprehensive broadband portfolio, manufacturers can easily add-on 802.11 or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to their ADSL routers.

The AR7 runs on Linux and VxWorks operating systems and comes with a complete network software package. The flexibility and ease of use of these OS interfaces make applications more portable and allow developers to quickly address the changing needs of existing market segments, meet new demands of emerging market segments, and address manufacturers' unique preferences. For faster time to market, TI provides OEMs with a complete AR7 system solution including software, hardware, schematics, reference designs, technical support and maintenance.

Tested and Proven Solution
All TI´s CPE and CO ADSL products are rigorously tested in TI´s world-class interoperability labs, at local exchange carrier (LEC) labs and in the field against competitive solutions. The AR7 also leverages TI´s previous generations of programmable ADSL chipsets that have been LEC certified for deployment worldwide. It also allows OEMs to support multiple geographic regions without the need for additional chips. The AR7 has built-in support for current ADSL standards including ITU G.992.1 Annexes A, B, C, I and J, and is future proof to support tomorrow´s higher throughput and increased reach protocols such as ADSL2+ and READSL (reach extended ADSL).

The AR7 is sampling to initial customers now with production and end-equipment based on the AR7 expected in 3Q 2003. For more information on the AR7, please visit

About Texas Instruments DSL
Texas Instruments provides customers low-power, high-density DSL infrastructure solutions and the building blocks for a variety of DSL CPE including bridges, routers, voice-enabled and 802.11-enabled solutions for local loop deployments. Leveraging the company´s history of innovation in DSL technology development, interoperability testing, customer support and manufacturing capabilities, TI enables customers to meet the requirements of operators worldwide. TI´s DSL business is part of the company´s comprehensive portfolio of broadband solutions including cable modems, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and 802.11 wireless networking.

* Subscriber figures according to the DSL Forum, March 12, 2003. One line is equivalent to two ports.

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