TOKYO Toshiba Corp. has become the first Japanese supplier of bus switch ICs with the launch today (March 30) of its TC7MB series, the company said. Toshiba's new family is aimed at a market segment that is growing 20 percent a year, according to market research firm Insight Onsite.
According to Toshiba, the TC7MB series will be used in a range of products, including portable PCs, computer servers, networking products and personal digital assistants (PDAs). The products will be housed in Toshiba's Ultra Small 20 package, which the company calls the world's thinnest 20-pin package. Samples of bus switches without diodes will be made available on May 1, followed by ICs with diodes on June 1.
The market for bus switch ICs stood at about $171 million in 1998 and it is expected to reach nearly $300 million in 2002, according to a forecast by Insight Onsite (San Jose, Calif.).
Toshiba said samples of its bus switch ICs will sell for $1. Mass production at a rate of one million chips per month is slated to begin in the third quarter, according to the company.