Electronic Design

Communications, USB, And Ethernet Chips For Everyone

A flurry of new embedded interface devices from SMSC covers a range of connectivity interfaces, from the LAN9118 10/100 Non-PCI Ethernet Controller to the serial/parallel interface SIO 1000 Controller. Also included in the mix are three USB hubs, a USB 2.0 PHY, and a USB flash media card reader. This collection of devices targets mobile computing.

Instead of the more complex PCI interface, the LAN9118 Ethernet controller employs a simple SRAM interface. This allows the device to be used with a wide range of low-cost microcontrollers (MCUs) with either an SRAM interface or general-purpose I/O. It handles high data rates without packet loss and supports flow control in hardware. The Wake On LAN feature allows the device to control system power. Drivers for Linux and Windows CE are available now. Power consumption runs well under half a watt.

The SIO 1000 multimedia controller is designed to provide low-cost infrared networking support to a system, in addition to serial and parallel communications. The lower-power chip works with mobile devices such as a multifunction remote control unit, a laptop, or a handheld computing device. It interfaces to an MCU through an LPC (low pin count) bus host interface. The SIO 1000 incorporates Consumer Ir (CIrC C2) with wake-up support along with IrCC 2.0 support for the IrDA standard. Also included are a serial port and multimode parallel port. The SIO 1000 costs $3.95.

All three USB hubs support USB 2.0. The USB2503, USB2504, and USB2507 have three, four, and seven downstream ports, respectively. These join the recently announced USB 2502 two-port hub. The new hubs have individual transaction translators for each port, thereby providing a dedicated 12-Mbit/s pipe for downstream FS/LS (full-speed/low-speed) devices. Many competing hubs have just one translator in the hub. Individual translators prevent slower devices from dragging down the entire system.

The wide selection allows developers to choose a USB hub with enough ports for a particular application, minimizing system footprint, power consumption, and cost. The chips are priced at $1/port.

The USB3250 is SMSC's standalone USB 2.0 PHY. It supports 480-Mbit/s HS (high-speed) and 12-Mbit/s FS modes. It draws at most 72 mA. Termination is integrated in the chip, which is priced at $2.

Flash media is ubiquitous when it comes to mobile devices, as are flash media readers. It's no surprise that SMSC's USB2228 USB2.0 Flash Media Card Reader Controller is part of this new release. It draws only 62 mA. The USB2228 will also find its way into more devices like printers, laptops, and desktop PCs. The reader supports the following formats: SmartMedia, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick, High-Speed Memory Stick, Secure Digital, MultiMediaCard, NAND Flash, Compact FlashTM I and II (CF), and CF form-factor ATA hard drives like the Microdrive. It handles USB bulk-only mass storage-compliant bootable BIOSs.

The USB2228 costs $4 and comes in 128- or 100-pin TQFP packages.The LAN9118 costs less than $8 for volume quantities of 10,000.


TAGS: Mobile
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