SAN JOSE -- Expanding its presence in the broadband IC market, Infineon Technologies Inc. today rolled out a chip set that's optimized for a new and emerging symmetric Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL) standard, called G.SHDSL.
The new product, dubbed Socrates 4, is a single-chip, four-channel device designed to meet the new G.SHDSL standard, said Munich-based Infineon. Targeted mainly for business-oriented environments, the G.SHDSL standard is a multi-rate, SDSL-based technology that enables carriers to transport data from 192-kilobits-per-second to 2.3-megabits-per-second.
The G.SHDSL technology is positioned to replace traditional T1/E1 lines. And the technology is also supposed to become the successor to the various flavors of SDSL in the market, such as high-bit-rate DSL (HDSL), HDSL-2, among others.
The G.SHDSL standard was only approved last year, but the technology is already taking off, said Bob Pierce, vice president of sales and marketing for the Communications Group at Infineon.
"G.SHDSL has been accepted in the market," said Pierce, who is based in San Jose. "The ILECs Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers and CLECs Competitive Local Exchange Carriers are using the technology to get into small businesses and SOHOs. The ILECs like it because the technology uses the existing infrastructure in the market," he said in an interview with SBN.
G.SHDSL also has some potential of moving into the consumer space, where it would compete against a technology called asymmetric DSL (ADSL), he said.
In any case, Infineon is not alone in the overall SDSL chip business. Conexant, GlobeSpan, Metalink and Tioga are the major competitors in the SDSL chip market. Each of these vendors offers G.SHDSL-enabled chip solutions.
There has been one casualty in the market, however. In April, Intel Corp. bailed out of the SDSL chip market in order to focus on the ADSL IC business. Intel also ceased development on its G.SHDSL-enabled chip product (see April 27 story ).
Hoping to get a competitive edge in the market, Infineon rolled out Socrates 4. The chip set, sometimes called a transceiver, features a power consumption of less than 700mW per channel, which is 30% below competing solutions, the company said.
It also saves board space for systems manufacturers. Socrates 4 combines several components on one device, including the analog front end, line driver, a microcontroller, framer, HDLC controllers and memory. Applications for the chip set include Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexers (DLSAMs), digital loop carriers (DLCs), and other systems.
Socrates 4 is sampling to key customers. Housed in a 388-contact ball-grid array (BGA) package, the product is priced at $20 per channel in volume quantities.