GENEVA ( ChipWire/EET) -- Two small European chip makers, Cologne Chip Designs GmbH and Consumer Microcircuits Ltd., displayed 64-kilobits-per-second ISDN circuits at Telecom 99 here this week.
"The ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network market is very strong in developing countries," said Harald Schaefer, sales and marketing manager at Cologne Chip Designs, located in Cologne, Germany, which has dealt exclusively with ISDN chips since 1994. "For example, there are 700,000 new ISDN lines being installed next year in Beijing. Germany already has a large deployment of ISDN and the Netherlands will be switching off its analog network in 2004. After that, the Netherlands will be totally digital," he said.
The majority of new telephone lines being installed or replaced in Europe are ISDN lines, leading many terminal equipment manufacturers to seek ways to add ISDN to their existing designs, according to Consumer Microcircuits (CML), of Maldon, England, which provides chips that support a variety of communications standards, including ISDN.
At Telecom 99, Cologne Chip is launching an ISDN S-interface controller with a Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface with B and D channel HDLC support.
The chip implements in hard-wired form a number of ISDN functions that are covered by a microcontroller and software in other vendors' ISDN solutions. The USB protocol in the Cologne chip is also implemented in hardware and the chip only requires an external EEPROM to store USB configuration data. "We save space on terminal adapter cards and no CPU and no firmware is required," Schaefer said.
The chip is implemented in 0.35-micron CMOS and is manufactured for Cologne Chip by Samsung Electronics.
CML is showing a range of protocol engines for ISDN. Three variants cover basic voice-circuit ISDN, ISDN with an AT command set interface, and a version with full B and D channel access.
"The flexibility, short call set-up times, and high data rates of ISDN are becoming increasingly attractive for a wide range of industrial and consumer applications, from remote metering and credit card processing to small office home office applications," said Kevin Swann, sales director of CML.
The devices all provide protocol stack Layers 1, 2 and 3, again minimizing the software development required by OEMs.
"With the launch of these devices and their toolkits, cost effective ISDN products can be developed within a week," Swann said.