PowerQUICC Delivers DSL Connectivity
• Motorola Inc.
(512) 933-3760; www.motorola.com/smartnetworks
Motorola's PowerQUICC still dominates as the communications controller of choice for low- and mid-range systems. The latest PowerQUICC, the MPC850DSL, targets DSL connectivity for xDSL modems, gateways, and networked devices. The communications controller integrates an 80-MHz PowerPC RISC processor with a communications engine and special peripherals. This combination provides a single-chip solution to home and SOHO installations that need more than a single DSL-to-CPU link.
The MPC850DSL builds around a scalar PowerPC CPU, with 50-, 66-, and 80-MHz speed grades. The chip supplements the CPU with a microcoded communications engine for protocol processing and 8 kbytes of dual-ported on-chip RAM. The processor runs from 2-kbyte I and 1-kbyte D caches. It incorporates a raft of support peripherals, including a UTOPIA port (for ATM), a USB channel (for CPU or peripheral at-tachments), two serial management controllers (SMCs), and two serial communications controllers (SCCs) for Ethernet and UART connections. The chip comes in a 256-BGA package, and prices start at $15.50 (25,000).
6U cPCI Board Supports Ultra2 SCSI Channels
• Cyclone Microsystems
(203) 786-5536; www.cyclone.com
Once a high-reliability luxury for high-end PC servers, RAID has become a basic necessity for systems. Redundant arrays, or low-cost disks, deliver mirrored disk reliability at a low additional cost. Cyclone fields board-level RAID controllers. Its latest, the CPCI-946, packs a SCSI and RAID controller onto a 64-bit wide 6U CompactPCI (cPCI) board.
The board supports two Ultra2 (LVD) SCSI channels, each with up to 15 SCSI devices hanging on the channel. It can move data at up to 264 Mbytes/s peak on the cPCI bus, and up to 80 Mbytes/s on each of the SCSI channels. I/O processing is handled by an i960 RISC 32-bit controller running from an on-board flash memory. The board supports RAID levels 0, 1, 3, 5, 10, 30, and 50. Also, OS support for the board includes Windows NT, Sun Solaris (x86), and Linux Red Hat. Prices begin at $1374 with 64 Mbytes of on-board SDRAM buffering (1000).
Serial Bus Chips Deliver 1.6-Gbit/s Bit Rates
• Cypress Semiconductor
(408) 943-2600; www.cypress.com
Many telecom and datacom front-end systems are shifting to adjunct backplane buses to move incoming and outgoing data. Lots of these implementations use high-speed serial or pseudoserial lines, instead of the traditional, slower parallel buses. Cypress' ComL backplane/bus interface chips can do the job, moving data at rates of up to 1.6 Gbits/s. ComL chips include multiplexed-differential line drivers for serial backplanes, 20-bit wide tristate buffers, and clock-distribution buffers with 1:10/8/4 fanouts.
ComL supports standard industry interfaces, such as LVCMOS, LVDS, and regular differential pairs. The LVDS drivers are configurable to handle both standard and high drives—1.2-ns rise or less than 50-ps rise and fall times, respectively. The multiplexed-differential line drivers use crosspoint switches for dynamic redundancy (can switch to another active line). The drivers support clock speeds of up to 800 MHz for a 1.6-Gbit/s rate by clocking both clock edges. The 20-bit buses can be deployed to move data in or out of an array of front-end line cards. Clock-distribution buffers take one single-ended input and replicate 10 single-ended LVCMOS outputs to distribute clocks across a serial many-to-many backplane bus.
Chips are sampling now, except for the 20-bit buffers, which will sample in August. Prices for the line drivers, 20-bit buffers, and clock fanout/distribution buffers start at $8, $14, and $3.50, respectively.