San Jose, Calif. -- Texas Instruments Inc. will roll out an integrated device at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference here this week in a bid to squeeze the 1394b interface into more notebook computers. The open host controller interface stacks link and physical-layer communications chips onto one 7 x 7-mm package.
The TSB83AA22ZAJ uses the same two dice found in existing TI 1394b silicon. The company shrunk pitch size on its existing, 15 x 15-mm BGA from 0.8 mm down to an ultranarrow 0.5 mm between bumps.
The tight spacing will require extra pc board routing layers, which are generally acceptable in space-conscious notebooks but will make the part a nonstarter for more cost-sensitive desktop PCs. The main application for the interface will be providing links to external hard-disk drives for video editing.
Only a handful of notebooks use the 800-Mbit/second 1394b interface today; most prefer the 480-Mbit/s USB 2.0, which typically comes in at half the cost and significantly lower power consumption. "With this product release, we think we'll get more notebook OEMs interested in the [1394b] technology," said Tom Ballew, a strategic-marketing manager in TI's interface group.
TI estimates its integrated 1394b controller will have a peak power consumption of less than 600 milliwatts. The 3.3-volt device draws 128 milliamps with a 1.8-V core that consumes 75 mA.
The chip uses a 32-bit, 33-MHz PCI interface. A next-generation part will move to a single-channel PCI Express system interface.
Late this year, TI will release a version of its 1394 silicon that will support the emerging High-Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance standard. Hana aims to let users more easily control a variety of daisy-chained 1394 devices in the home via a single remote control and user interface.