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SMSC Introduces High-Speed USB Interconnect Device (HSIC) for Embedded Applications

USB4640 Reduces Complexity of the Host SoC and Lowers Power by Up to 20 Percent

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. –(Business Wire)– May 26, 2009 SMSC (NASDAQ: SMSC), a leading semiconductor company providing innovative connectivity solutions spanning analog, digital and mixed-signal technologies, today announced the industry’s first Hub and Flash Media Card Reader Combo solution with a High-Speed Inter-Chip (HSIC) interface - SMSC’s USB4640. The single-package, dual function USB4640 offers USB port expansion and flash media card reader access to users by connecting to an SoC host port using the new High-Speed Inter-Chip USB Electrical Specification Version 1.0 interface. In addition to reducing the complexity of the SoC and system power consumption, this solution offers a versatile, cost-effective means to reduce bill of materials costs and footprint by integrating USB hub and card reader functions in a single chip.

HSIC is a newly introduced USB standard. It is a 2-wire digital bus that enables the use of USB protocol as a low-power, chip-to-chip interconnect, while taking advantage of the broad availability of existing USB drivers and software. This interface reduces power consumption and eliminates analog circuitry from the SoC and USB upstream port. Target applications include digital TVs, printers, PCs, portable CE, gaming consoles and embedded systems.

Footprint and Power Consumption Advantages

  • Reduces power consumption by approximately 20 percent with HSIC upstream versus alternative SMSC USB upstream based solutions.
  • Integrated Hub and Flash Media Card Reader Combo solution optimizes footprint with an approximate 40 percent board space reduction, when compared to prior SMSC discrete devices.
  • HSIC interface reduces the complexity of the host system SoC by eliminating the analog USB circuit
  • The HSIC interface is transparent to software therefore HSIC is fully backward compatible to existing USB 2.0 software and drivers.

“This new HSIC-based USB and Flash Media controller combo solution is designed to enable virtually seamless integration of low power USB connectivity with embedded Flash media for system designs requiring additional connectivity ports,” said Mark Bode, Vice President of Connectivity Marketing at SMSC. “By combining full-featured components into one device, SMSC is able to deliver high-performance data transfer, while using HSIC to deliver significant improvement in power efficiency - up to 20 percent.”

“The USB 2.0 Promoter Group released the HSIC specification to promote the use of USB as a chip-to-chip communication interface,” said Jeff Ravencraft, Chairman and President of the USB-IF. “SMSC’s support in developing standard-based HSIC solutions will help to build an ecosystem for this interface that allows OEMs to build products that capitalize on the ubiquity of USB software.”

The SMSC USB4640 is available in a 48-pin QFN (7×7mm) lead-free, RoHS-compliant package. It is also available as an industrial temperature qualified device supporting -40° to 85° Celsius, thus enabling improved thermal characteristics that are required for many embedded applications.

Pricing & Availability:

Product samples of the USB4640 are available today. Production quantities can be purchased at a price of $2.50 per unit in 1K quantities.

About SMSC:

Many of the world’s most successful global technology companies rely upon SMSC as a go-to resource for semiconductor system solutions that span analog, digital and mixed-signal technologies. Leveraging substantial intellectual property, integration expertise and a comprehensive global infrastructure, SMSC solves design challenges and delivers performance, space, cost and time-to-market advantages to its customers. SMSC’s application focus targets key vertical markets including consumer electronics, automotive infotainment, PC and industrial applications. The Company has developed leadership positions in its select markets by providing application specific solutions such as mixed-signal embedded controllers, non-PCI Ethernet, ARCNET, MOST® and Hi-Speed USB.

SMSC is headquartered in Hauppauge, New York with operations in North America, Asia and Europe. Engineering design centers are located in Arizona, New York, Texas and Karlsruhe, Germany. Additional information is available at www.smsc.com.