Agilent Unveils Multi-channel, Bi-Directional Digital Optocouplers

11/15/2004 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) introduced the industry's first 3.3 V, 15 MBd, multi-channel and bi-directional digital optocouplers for use in a wide range of consumer, computing, communications and industrial applications. Agilent's patented manufacturing technology for stacking LEDs provided the integration breakthrough necessary to develop multi-channel optocouplers that allow OEMs to reduce part count, board space and system costs. The integration of two, three and four optocouplers is achieved through stacking LED die and an insulating layer on a silicon substrate.

Optocouplers provide electrical (galvanic) isolation of signal lines to protect low-voltage circuitry from high-voltage surges. They operate by converting electrical signals into optical signals that are transmitted across a transparent insulating material and then converted back to electrical signals. They also eliminate electrical noise and interference.

"Technology breakthroughs such as stacked LEDs set new optoisolation benchmarks for our competitors," said Chong Tze Siong, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Isolation Products Division. "Offering multi-channel devices reduces the number of packaged parts on our customers' boards, saving space and cost. We will maintain our market leadership by introducing new products that offer value-added integration benefits."

The ACSL-6xx0 series optocouplers provide minimum 10 MBd operating speeds, with 15 MBd typical performance. With an insulating material between the LED and active circuitry, the optocoupler provides safe, high-voltage insulation performance. The series includes dual-, triple- and quad-channel versions. They are supplied in compact 8-pin (4.9 mm x 5.9 mm x 1.7 mm for dual-channel) and 16-pin (9.9 mm x 5.9 mm x 1.7 mm for triple- and quad-channel) thin small outline integrated circuit (SOIC) packages to further reduce board-space requirements. The optocoupler's bi-directional capability simplifies signal routing on PC boards.

In computer systems, the Agilent ACSL series optocouplers provide the benefits of reduced part count and board space for parallel interfaces and serial interfaces such as RS232/485/422, SPI (serial peripheral interface), and Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C) bus. They offer the same benefits in industrial, test and measurement, and medical systems for PLC (programmable logic controllers), fieldbus interfaces and data acquisition; in communications applications such as POE (power-over-Ethernet) and networking boards; and for plasma display panels and other consumer appliances.

The Agilent optocouplers exhibit high common-mode rejection of 10 kV/microsecond minimum and operate from 3.0 V to 5.5 V supply voltages, with an operating temperature range of -40 C to +100 C. These devices are pending safety regulatory approval. They are designed to meet the most widely accepted international safety regulations: UL1577 (2500 Vrms), CSA Component Acceptance Notice No. 5, and the newly established standard to replace VDE 0884, IEC/EN/DIN EN 60747-5-2.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Agilent ACSL-6400 with quad unidirectional channels is priced at $4.14 each, and the ACSL-6210 with dual bi-directional channels is priced at $2.53 each, both in 10,000-piece quantities. They are available now through Agilent's direct sales channel and worldwide distribution partners.

Agilent plans to introduce the following optocouplers in the third quarter of 2005:

More information is available at

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 28,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6.1 billion in fiscal year 2003. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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