PHOENIX--Motorola Inc. spinoff On Semiconductor today launched an initiative to greatly expand its offering of fast ICs for high-bandwidth data applications from its current lineup of about 270 emitter-couple logic (ECL) chips.
The five-month-old company aims to add up to 40% more products to its ECL portfolio this year, and it is considering the use of other high-speed chip technologies for future ICs in high-bandwidth applications, which covers networking gear, telecommunications equipment, testers, computers, and a range of Internet-connected systems. "Our total ECL portfolio is now over 270 parts--twice the number of our nearest competitor," declared Morris Daniely, director of high-bandwidth products at the Phoenix-based company.
During the last half of 1999, On Semiconductor added about 20 new products to its ECL product offering, including devices that can handle 6 gigabits per second and operate at speeds of 170 picoseconds at 2.5 volts. These building-block ICs are faster than CMOS solutions and lower cost than gallium-arsenide (GaAs) devices, Daniely said. The privately-held company is also considering other process technologies--such as silicon germanium (SiGe)--for future products in the high-bandwidth arena, he added.
On Semiconductor began its existence last August when a private investment group completed a $1.6 billion purchase of Motorola's commodity semiconductor division (see Aug. 5, 1999, story). As part of Motorola's Semiconductor Product Sector, the division had an extensive ECL portfolio, and after the spinoff, On Semiconductor management identified a growth strategy for Internet and backbone technologies using the high-speed bipolar devices.
"This market goes beyond the traditional ECL functions we have been selling," Daniely explained. "We are now talking about components for the data path, such as high-speed multiplexing and demultiplexing, post amplifiers, op amps, laser drivers and other types of products for the data path and fiber optics."
While pursuing new high-bandwidth ICs running at up to 40 gigabits per second, On Semiconductor will continue to maintain its building-block focus in the marketplace. "We are not looking at offering 'cores,'" said Daniely, referring to reusable design blocks for system-level integration. "We are not a 'system-on-a-chip' company, but we are looking at doing higher levels of integration rather than just the primitive logic functions."