Exar Supports Small Package, Low Voltage with UART Product Series

6/27/2003 - Exar Corporation (Nasdaq: EXAR), a leading provider of high-performance, mixed-signal silicon solutions for the worldwide communications infrastructure, announced the industry's smallest package of Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter (UART) product for the growing market adoption of low voltage, 2.25V, data communications platforms. The XR16L2551 is a dual channel UART being offered in a 32- QFN (package size of 5x5x0.9mm). This device, the first in a four part family, features a selectable microprocessor data bus and a unique PowerSave function to conserve power thus extending battery life. The new device targets a variety of portable applications where board real estate is minimal and operating period is critical. These markets include portable communication systems such as handheld data entry terminals, Point-of-Sale (POS) / credit authorization terminals, global positioning systems and CDMA cellular phones. Additionally, it is suitable for cellular base stations, wireless infrared systems, portable instrumentations and telecommunication routers and switches.

In order to support leading microprocessors and microcontrollers, the XR16L2551 offers a hardware pin for selecting either an Intel or Motorola data bus interface. This flexibility reduces system design and development time. "Offering a small real estate package and supporting 2.25V to 5.5V design platforms with the XR16L2551 further establishes Exar as technology leader in the multi-channel serial communications market," said Susan Hardman, Vice President and General Manager of the Interface Products Division. "The ability to support this dramatically small package size and low voltage level give our customers operating voltage flexibility with space saving benefits."

Product Details
The XR16L2551 (L2551) has two independent UART channels, and operates from a low 2.25V to 5.5V with 5V tolerant inputs. This broad operating supply voltage is very desirable when lower cost serial transceivers are used in the system. To ease hardware design, it includes a pin to select between an Intel or Motorola data bus interface that simplifies bus timing matching, hence, reduces the design cycle. For handheld applications, the device packaged in a 32 pin QFN occupies very little board space while preserving the standard CPU and modem interface. Also, Exar's exclusive PowerSave feature extends battery life by reducing the power consumption of the chip to less than 30uA during sleep mode when the system is not active. The PowerSave feature eliminates the need for two external bus transceivers, hence lowering the overall system cost. Furthermore, standard flow control mechanisms were added, hardware (RTS/CTS) or software (Xon/Xoff), to prevent receiver data overrun and avoid wasteful data retransmission. The register set of the XR16L2551 is fully compatible with industry standard 16C550 and can easily be upgraded through the device driver to take advantage of the new features.

In addition to the XR16L2551, the family also includes three other devices: XR16L2450, XR16L2550 and XR16L2552. All 4 devices have an internal loopback facility that allows power-up system diagnostics, plus on-board status registers that provide the user with receive data error indications and operational status. "Building on a heritage of offering leading-edge serial communications products, XR16L2551 along with the other chips in the family not only further extends our capabilities, but opens new markets and applications," said Sun-Man Lo, Strategic Marketing Director, Interface Products Division.

The XR16L2450 is pin and function compatible to the ST16C2450; the XR16L2550 is pin and function compatible with the ST16C2550, XR16L2750 and XR16C2850; the XR16L2551 is pin and function compatible with the XR16L2751; and, the XR16L2552 is pin and function compatible to the ST16C2552, XR16L2752, and XR16C2852. The new devices are software compatible to their respective migrating part(s).

Packages, Prices and Availability
The package offering for all four devices is shown below. The series operates over the industrial temperature range. For 1,000 piece quantities, the XR16L2551, depending on package configuration, is priced at approximately $3.75. For similar quantities, the XR16L2550 is priced at approximately $3.40. Samples on all four devices will be available in July.

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. Additionally, Exar offers ICs for both the serial communications and 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. For more information about Exar, visit www.exar.com.

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