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Agere's GbE chip gets USB 2.0 design win

Posted: 01 Mar 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:junko yoshida? ee times? agere? ether chip? consumer electronics?

Agere Systems Inc. recently announced a major design win for its GbE chip in a usb 2.0 adapter card offered by Belkin Corp.

Compared with 10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet technology, Agere's ET1011 GbE PHY-layer chip can triple file transfers and multimedia downloads via a USB 2.0 port for PCs and portable consumer devices. Such cardswhose speed is limited by the 480Mbps theoretical data rate allowed by the USB 2.0 interfaceaccelerate data speeds up to 300Mbps.

Consumers will benefit from Belkin's connectivity products, since they can easily boost the data rate of their current PCs without exchanging machines, said Ngozi Bell, director of marketing for Agere's enterprise and networking division. Moreover, small portable devices can download digital music, video and photos faster with a USB 2.0-based dongle integrated with Agere's GbE chip, he added.

"There are a number of sleek portable consumer appliancesincluding personal media processors and digital picture framesthat take advantage of such a low-cost connectivity tool as USB 2.0 adapters," Bell said.

Building on its expertise in mobility, storage and connectivity, Agere hopes to drive its chips deeper into consumer electronics. In particular, Agere is determined to leverage the company's success in GbE chips and bring them downstream to the consumer market.

In the last few months, Agere has announced several key design wins. SMC Networks Inc., for one, is using Agere's GbE chipset in SMC's new line of Gb work group switches.

Separately, Agere announced that its PCI Xpress GbE personal-computer chip has achieved interoperability with ATI Technologies Inc.'s Radeon Xpress chipset line. This means that PC makers that select the ATI and Agere chips for use on their own circuit boards can increase GbE throughput and reduce power consumption by approximately 20 percent, compared with existing technologies, according to Agere.

- Junko Yoshida
EE Times

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