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USB-to-Ethernet controller cuts BOM, power use

Posted: 23 Nov 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:USB-to-Ethernet? HSIC? networking solution?

SMSC has launched what it boasts as the industry's first fully integrated Hi-Speed Inter-Chip (HSIC) USB 2.0 to 10/100 Ethernet device. According to the company, the LAN9730 is aimed to cut power use and BOM cost to OEM and ODM designers of embedded systems and CE devices.

"Performance, flexibility in design and power savings are all critical design elements inherent in SMSC's line of networking solutions"

HSIC, which incorporates SMSC's patented Inter-Chip Connectivity (ICC) technology, enables the USB 2.0 protocol that is now standard in billions of electronic devices, to be delivered in short distances while retaining 100 percent software compatibility with an analog USB 2.0 connection. AMD and Samsung have recently joined Nvidia, Qualcomm and others in licensing ICC from SMSC to enable HSIC communication from their portable SoCs to peripheral USB 2.0 devices. HSIC has been adopted as part of the USB 2.0 standard and dramatically decreases power consumption in applications such as battery-powered portable devices requiring an Ethernet port. The LAN9730 offers an integrated 10/100 physical layer and multiple power management enhancements, including Magic Packet and Link Status Change as well as 'Wake on LAN' mode that allows systems to enter a low power state and wake on desired network traffic, thereby conserving resources during downtimes.

The latest in SMSC's family of USB-to-Ethernet solutions, the LAN9730 is compliant with USB specification 1.1 and 2.0 as well as IEEE 802.3/802.3u Ethernet standards. Additionally the LAN9730 needs only a single 25MHz crystal to drive both the USB and Ethernet PHYs, thereby reducing developer BOM cost.

SMSC's integrated USB-based networking solution provides added flexibility for the routing and placement of network connections anywhere in the developer's system, said the company. Additionally, the LAN9730 supports a wide range of drivers for the most recent versions of Windows, Mac and Linux OS. The LAN9730 is ideal for applications such as battery-powered portable devices that also require Ethernet connectivity.

The LAN9730 is available in a small form factor 8 x 8mm 56-pin QFN package that is lead-free and RoHS compliant. It is available in both commercial (0C to 70C) and industrial (-40C to 85C) temperature ranges. Qualification samples and evaluation kits are available now with mass production slated for the end of January next year.

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