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Silicon Labs low-cost modem targets STBs

Posted: 10 Apr 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:silicon laboratories? isomodem family? si2401? stb modem? direct access arrangement?

The latest version of Silicon Laboratories Inc.'s ISOmodem family, the Si2401 two-chip set may find a sweet spot in STBs.

This application can account for up to 30 million units per year, according to David Bresemann, VP and GM of the Silicon Laboratories' wireline products division.

The Si2401 combines a capacitive direct access arrangement (DAA) - effectively a two-chip telephone line isolation device - with a 2.4kbps modem on the host side. The combination reduced off-chip components by an estimated 45 percent, board space by 30 percent, power consumption by 75 percent, and BOM costs by 50 percent over other versions, Bresemann said.

In addition to STB transmissions, the device will support low-end remote data acquisition applications, such as meter reading and vending machine monitoring, Bresemann said.

In an otherwise moribund communications market, Silicon Laboratories grew from $14 million in revenues from the first quarter of 2001 to roughly $60 million in revenues in Q4 of 2002 - an almost 20 percent compound annual growth rate , according to Bresemann.

A substantial revenue-generator has been the company's capacitor-based silicon DAA, which has displaced transformer-based DAAs in a substantial proportion of the 80 million PC modems shipped each year.

The newest device couples a DSP data pump (embodied in the Si2401 modem chip) to a codec and ring detection unit (embodied in the Si3010 DAA chip). The chipset sells for $7.33 in 10,000-piece lots.

- Stephan Ohr

EE Times

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