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RS-232 transceiver isolates data, power lines on chip

Posted: 23 Jul 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:surface mount RS-232 transceiver? isolate data and power lines?


Analog Devices Inc. is expanding its family of interface products with what it claims to be the industry's first fully isolated single-package surface mount RS-232 transceiver with integrated DC/DC converter to supply isolated power.

Featuring a very small form factor SMT package, the ADM3251E transceiver integrates a line driver, line receiver, oscillator, rectifier, regulator, voltage doubler, voltage inverter and transformers into a single-chip solution that isolates both the data and power lines on chip. The transceiver's SMT package allows system manufacturers to mount the device using fully automated production tools, which reduces manufacturing steps and improves mechanical performance. The smaller footprint additionally frees up circuit board space for other system functions. The highly integrated device provides a robust serial communications interface with isolated power for use in harsh HVAC, industrial and medical applications.

The ADM3251E transceiver incorporates ADI's iCoupler and isoPower isolation technologies and is the first surface mount RS-232 transceiver to feature full isolation of both the data lines and power. With a 2.5kV isolation rating, the new RS-232 transceiver complies with industry-standard isolation regulations, including UL1577 and DIN VDE 0884-10, ensuring it will meet the robustness levels required in noisy operating environments such as isolated RS-232 diagnostic data ports in HVAC building control systems, industrial automation and control applications, point-of-sale equipment, programmable logic controllers, telecom and medical equipment. The SMT package reduces board space by 45 percent compared with traditional ICs and helps to accelerate the manufacturing process and lower system development costs.

iCoupler, isoPower tech
With over 150 million channels deployed throughout the industry, ADI's iCoupler technology is based on chip-scale transformers, rather than on the LEDs and photodiodes found in optocouplers. Transformers can support higher data rates and lower power consumption, and are more stable over life as compared to LEDs and photodiodes. By fabricating the transformers directly on-chip using wafer-level processing, iCoupler channels can be integrated with each other and other semiconductor functions at low cost.

Meanwhile, iCoupler digital isolators condition and drive data across transformers. ADI's isoPower DC/DC converter uses the same chips-scale transformer technology, but instead of transmitting data, isoPower employs switches, rectifiers, and regulators to generate power that is isolated to the same degree as the data channels.

The ADM3251E is available now in production quantities and comes housed in a Pb-free 13mm x 10.56mm (138mm?) 20-lead WSOIC surface-mount package. The transceiver is priced at $2.99 per unit in 1,000-unit quantities.

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