TOKYO Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. has developed an IEEE 1394 interface chip suited for protocol processing in both digital audio/video equipment and in PC peripherals.
Typically, consumer and computer equipment have required separate 1394 implementations. But with the rapid rise of 1394 in both the consumer and computer camps, Matsushita is betting that its chip which integrates AV protocols for digital audio/video products and the Serial Bus Protocol 2 (SBP2; the 1394 derivation of SCSI) for PC subsystems will accelerate the introduction of products that work as both AV systems and PC peripherals.
While version 2.0 of the Universal Serial Bus has yet to see use in commercial products, implementations of 1394 have proliferated in digital video cameras, other consumer electronics and computer equipment. Recent digital TV arrivals are all equipped with 1394 ports, even though the Home Audio/Video interoperability (HAVi) network that will use 1394 for physical connections is not yet on the market. The DVD group is advocating seamless implementations for both audio and video data and computer data handling. And hard drives are landing roles as subsystems for video recording.
In such environments, AV and PC data can increasingly be expected to flow in the same networks. Since the 1394 interface allows daisychain connections, chips such as Matsushita's can be used to mix computer- and AV-data-processing devices easily in a single setup.
The chip, designated the MN864602, complies with the IEEE 1394a-2000 standard, which has data transfer rates of 100, 200 and 400 Mbits/second. Fabricated on a CMOS three-metal-layer 0.25-micron process, it integrates a two-port physical layer, link layer and protocol processing circuitry for AV data compliant with the Digital Transmission Content Protection (DTCP) spec, as well as for PC data. Authentication and key exchange accelerator circuitry is provided to process the mathematics operations required for DTCP, such as one-way functionality, a random generator and an ellipse curve crypto system.
Supports multiple data stream types
The AV protocol supports MPEG-2 transport, digital video, DirecTV and audio data streams. The DTCP-based encryption and decryption circuitry lets the chip provide such bidirectional services as recording video while displaying it on a TV.
The part comes in a 164-pin quad flat pack measuring 18 x 18 mm. The clock frequency is 49.152 MHz. The single power supply is 3.3 volts (2.5 V internally). The chip is sampling this month at about $30.
Competitors are also integrating 1394 functions in smaller dice. Texas Instruments began sampling a 1394 device in November that integrates physical-layer and link-layer ports. Using a 0.15-micron process, the chip reduces surface-mounting space requirements by 25 percent. The part comes in a 144-pin thin quad flat pack. TI is ramping volume production now.
NEC, meanwhile, has bridged its 1394 coverage from the computer to consumer worlds with a 1394 link device called the uPD72890. Announced in November, the chip integrates NEC's 32-bit RISC processor core V850/MA1 on the chip. The embedded processor handles 1394 transactions and AV protocol processing, as well as bus management and DTCP copy protection processing. Samples in 176-pin TQFPs are priced at about $25. NEC is ramping up volume production.