Tundra Delivers World's First Serial RapidIO Switch

2/14/2005 - Tundra Semiconductor Corporation (TSX:TUN), the leader in System Interconnect, announced the availability of the Tundra Tsi568A(TM) serial RapidIO switch. This product launch marks a significant milestone in the ongoing development of the RapidIO ecosystem and expands Tundra's RapidIO System Interconnect product family. The Tsi568A, which incorporates patent-pending technology, enables high-performance and reliable System Interconnect, is being designed into customers' next-generation platforms today.

As the leading interconnect standard for embedded systems, RapidIO addresses the high-performance embedded industry's need for reliability, increased bandwidth, and faster speeds in intra-system interconnect. To remain competitive, customers are increasingly choosing to outsource their System Interconnect requirements to Tundra, enabling them to focus on their core competencies for their embedded designs. Next-generation embedded designs demand high-performance System Interconnect and Tundra's standards-based, off-the-shelf System Interconnect provides faster, switch fabric devices - like the Tsi568A - to replace slower bus-based architectures.

The Tsi568A delivers the performance, power and configurability that embedded designers need to build reliable, high-speed communications systems like wireless base stations and emerging architectural standards, such as Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (AdvancedTCA). This switch interconnects serial RapidIO enabled processors and peripheral devices and supports an aggregate bandwidth of 80 gigabits per second. The innovative technology in the Tsi568A can also stream a packet directly through the switch - packet cut-through to reduce system latency. In addition, designers can take advantage of the switch's multiple port width and speed configuration options to efficiently manage power requirements.

"Tundra's serial RapidIO System Interconnect roadmap targets the growing wireless, networking, storage, military and industrial automation markets," says Tundra's chief technology officer and vice president of product management, Rick O'Connor. "For example, customers are designing the Tsi568A into new wireless equipment, including base stations and media gateways for voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) applications."

The launch of the Tsi568A is welcomed by partners, customers, members of the RapidIO ecosystem and industry analysts. The switch fabric architecture of the Tsi568A enables increased levels of functionality that previously were not feasible with proprietary bus-based architectures.

"Tundra's Tsi568A is an important part of the RapidIO ecosystem for our newly announced high performance/low power TMS320TCI6482 digital signal processor (DSP). This type of serial switch will be used in applications demanding fast and efficient communications with DSPs for 3G wireless infrastructure applications," says Alan Gatherer, chief technology officer of Texas Instruments wireless infrastructure group. "The availability of a RapidIO switch will enable equipment manufacturers to simplify the design of new infrastructure systems as well as allow them to quickly implement more features into their systems."

"The Tundra Tsi568A will deliver the high level of configurability and performance that RapidIO devices provide to wireless infrastructures solutions," says Mark Skalabrin, vice president and general manager, OEM Solutions at Mercury Computer Systems. "Mercury views Tundra's switch as an important addition to the growing list of RapidIO enabled silicon."

"The release of Tundra Semiconductor's Tsi568A serial RapidIO Switch provides RapidIO a significant head start over the Advanced Switching Interconnect, which is not expected to be releasing first silicon until the third quarter of this year," says Eric Mantion, senior analyst, In-Stat. "Given RapidIO's strong synergy with DSPs, the Tsi568A's ability to comply with the PICMG 3.5 specification, and the mobile infrastructure market's propensity to use AdvancedTCA, this triad of tendencies should provide significant traction in 2005 for Tundra's RapidIO products."

"A vital part of the RapidIO ecosystem, Tundra's new switch clearly demonstrates the company's ongoing investment in the development of the RapidIO standard," says Iain Scott, executive director of the RapidIO Trade Association. "This achievement also reinforces Tundra's leadership role in bringing RapidIO products to market."

The Tundra Tsi568A will be available through Tundra's worldwide sales network in March 2005. Documentation, including ordering information, user manuals, reference schematics and software drivers, is available at www.tundra.com . Volume pricing for the Tsi568A is under $99 USD.

Using 0.13-micron technology and integrated SerDes functionality, the Tsi568A serial RapidIO Switch is a semiconductor chip that will be used in many embedded communications applications. It provides chip-to-chip interconnect between input/output devices and can replace existing proprietary backplane fabrics for board-to-board interconnect.

Highly configurable for tailored solutions:


Advanced packaging:

About Tundra
Tundra Semiconductor Corporation designs, develops, and markets standards-based System Interconnect for use by the world's leading communications and storage system companies. Tundra supports RapidIO, VME, and PCI/X standards. Tundra System Interconnect is a vital communications technology that enables customers to connect critical system components while compressing development cycles and maximizing performance. Applications include wireless infrastructure, storage networking, network access, military applications, and industrial automation. Tundra headquarters are located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The Company also has a design center in South Portland, Maine, and sales offices in the U.K., across the US and in Asia. Tundra sells its products worldwide through a network of direct sales personnel, independent distributors and manufacturers' representatives. Tundra employs about 200 employees worldwide.

TUNDRA is a registered trademark of Tundra Semiconductor Corporation (Canada, U.S. and U.K.). TUNDRA, the Tundra logo, Tsi568A are trademarks of Tundra Semiconductor Corporation.

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