A new internal modem chip looks to reduce the cost and size of desktop personal computers (PCs). Called the SV92U2, this Universal Serial Bus (USB)-based modem chip set makes it possible to reduce desktop PC bus sizes by 80% by eliminating the need for Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI)-based modems. In addition to cost and size reductions, the smaller-sized bus makes it possible to produce easier-to-use PCs for consumers.
Using the SV92U2, developer Agere Systems can provide three USB modem alternatives. The first, configured as an internal modem, makes possible a direct replacement of the PCI modem. The second features an external USB dongle modem for applications that offer the modem as an option. The third consists of a USB modem, delivered on a half minicard form factor size, for PCs that house the mini-card architecture.
A widespread transition in desktop PCs from PCI bus technology to alternative buses such as USB makes the chip all that more relevant to today's needs. Computer buses embody the electronic equivalent of highways that connect various chips inside PCs, cameras, and scanners. The 32-bit parallel PCI bus used in desktop PCs consists of several parallel rows of electronic wires, and requires a significant amount of motherboard routing area.