IRVINE, Calif. -- Broadcom Corp. here said today it is sampling a 10/100 Ethernet single-channel transceiver operating at a minuscule 250 milliwatts, aimed at portable computers and other power-sensitive applications.
Broadcom claimed the BCM5221 Signi-(PHY) also is the industry's first 2.5-volt single-channel Fast Ethernet transceiver. By slashing power consumption to only 250 mW, the chip allows equipment vendors to build more reliable, lower-cost networking equipment with increased network uptime, the Irvine chip maker said.
Applications for the new chip include PCMCIA/CardBus adapters, LAN-on-motherboard (LOM) applications, Internet Protocol (IP) phones, cable modems, set-top boxes, print servers, wireless access points, and embedded telecom equipment.
Broadcom's Intelligent Power Management technology automatically powers down the transceiver when it's not connected to the network, the company said. This prolongs battery life, and further reduces power requirements. The BCM5221 also incorporates the HP Auto-MDIX feature, which automatically detects and corrects the polarity of crossed cables, thereby simplifying LAN installation and maintenance.
The BCM5221 is layout-compatible with its predecessor, the BCM5201, which has been shipping in production for two years. "This compatibility enables our customers to take immediate advantage of the lower power and enhanced features of the BCM5221," said Kevin Brown, Broadcom product line manager.
The chip supports both 2.5- and 3.3-V operation with a single voltage supply source, which eliminates the need for additional power supply components. This simplifies system design, and lowers overall system cost.
The BCM5221 is based on Broadcom's 0.22 micron, Digi-(PHY) core architecture, which the company is already offering in its 6- and 8-port 10/100 Ethernet transceivers. Over the past two and a half years, the same architecture has been implemented and proven in 0.50-, 0.35-, and 0.22-micron single-poly CMOS processes. Because it is digital architecture, Broadcom's Digi-(PHY) is more portable than e analog solutions, which must be redesigned as they migrate from one manufacturing process to another
BCM5221 Signi-(PHY) single-channel 10/100 TX/FX Ethernet Transceiver is available today, and is priced at $7 in 1,000 unit quantities. It is offered in both 64-pin TQFP and 64-pin fpBGA packages.