Agere Unveils Dual Mode ‘Azalia’ Modem

An integrated dual-mode modem chip based on the next-generation high-definition (HD) audio bus architecture (formerly codenamed 'Azalia') for surround-sound audio, streaming music and video applications, has been added by Agere Systems to its modem product range.

In addition, the company has also developed several complete, single-chip modems for embedded applications as part of its set of compact, wired connectivity solutions for PCs, notebooks, set-top boxes, multi-function fax/copier/scanner/printers and other embedded data communications applications.

Audio features
With a focus on providing enhanced audio features the dual-mode modem IC can be configured automatically to either HD audio bus or the current AC97 audio specification without changing the layout, schematic or bill-of-materials of AC97 modem cards. The company has also developed a new controller-based modem chip series supporting data rates from V.34 (33.6 Kbits/sec) to V.90 (56 Kbits/sec), as well as all V.92 features to serve the external modem aftermarket and embedded applications.

'Agere continues to strengthen its modem product portfolio with these new chips servicing connectivity needs in today's PCs and embedded solutions, as well as addressing new interface standards and communications applications,' commented Stan Swearingen, vice president of Agere's Computing Connectivity division. 'Agere's modem chips deliver highly integrated, high-performance solutions that enable OEMs to rapidly bring cost-effective, feature-rich products to market.'

Compliant
The SV92A2 digital chip is compliant with the HD audio specification that supports improved audio capabilities for voice and communications applications and serves as the bus for transmitting data between a modem and host PC. An auto-detect feature enables the chip to configure automatically to either an AC97-based bus controller or the HD audio controller. This device can also be used in new designs that are based on the HD audio-defined mobile daughter card form factor (MDC 1.5), to save space on the motherboard and lower overall system costs.

Using one board based on the SV92A2 IC to support either environment allows modem customers to easily transition to HD audio while continuing to support AC97 products, without the need for re-certification.

The modem solution needs less than 50 discrete components for a low BOM and smaller footprints, providing easier layout and more thermally robust hardware designs. Agere offers a single unified driver to support all soft modem applications.

Controller-based chip series
Also available from Agere are three separate digital chip solutions that enable integrated embedded designs for external modem products and general non-PC modem applications, including multi-function peripherals, set-top boxes, point-of-sale terminals and fax devices. The OCM34, OCM90 and OCM92 digital modem ICs – which support the V.34, V.90 and V.92 standards, respectively – are highly integrated, single-chip solutions that combine controller and digital signal processing functions with no external memory required. In addition, these chips support handset/speakerphone and caller ID applications, serial RS-232 and parallel 8bit interfaces, and are operating system independent. Available in 48pin and 128pin packages, these chips can be used with Agere's 1034S line codec.

The SV92A2 and OCM products are currently sampling to customers and are expected to be in volume production in third calendar quarter 2004.

With a focus on providing enhanced audio features, the dual-mode modem IC can be configured automatically to either HD audio bus or the current AC97 audio specification without changing the layout, schematic or bill-of-materials of AC97 modem cards. The company has also developed a new controller-based modem chip series supporting data rates from V.34 (33.6 Kbits/sec) to V.90 (56 Kbits/sec), as well as all V.92 features to serve the external modem aftermarket and embedded applications.

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