Electronic Design

ADSL Router-On-A-Chip Boosts Throughput While Cutting Costs

By integrating more of the functionality required for an ADSL interface adapter than previous generations, Texas Instruments' AR7 chip reduces the bill of materials by about 25% versus competitive solutions. Not only will the AR7 lower system cost, it also will improve data throughput thanks to a TurboDSL packet accelerator included on the chip.

The accelerator improves the packet acknowledgement function by 300%, compared to other DSL solutions. This improves downstream data rates and provides a better user experience, especially with streaming video and speed-sensitive applications like interactive gaming.

Included on the AR7 are a MIPS-32 RISC processor, a DSP-based digital transceiver that performs dynamic adaptive equalization of the telephone lines, an ADSL analog front end (including the line driver and receiver), and power management. The chip additionally offers better connections and extends the reach of the DSL connections.

The AR7 supports data rates up to and beyond 20 Mbits/s using the ADSL2+ standard, as well as proprietary implementations in central offices. Able to run Linux and VxWorks operating systems, the chip comes with a complete network software package. For quick time-to-market requirements, TI also provides a full system solution that includes software, hardware, schematics, reference designs, and technical support. In volume, the AR7 will sell for less than $20.

Texas Instruments Inc.

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