STMicroelectronics breaks 200-mW per port barrier with Ethernet transceiver chip

Geneva, Switzerland - STMicroelectronics recently announced a new 0.18-micron, eight-port fast Ethernet transceiver chip, STE800P, that it says sets new records for smallest footprint and lowest power consumption-just 180 mW per port.


Geneva, Switzerland - STMicroelectronics recently announced a new 0.18-micron, eight-port fast Ethernet transceiver chip, STE800P, that it says sets new records for smallest footprint and lowest power consumption - just 180 mW per port. Based on the company's patented PHYreIce, a controlled impedance driver (CID) transceiver core, STE800P enables design of higher-density Ethernet switches with lower system cost per port and increased network uptime.

STMicroelectronics' 0.18-micron, 10/100 PHYreIce core was introduced in July 2001 as part of its STE400P Quad 10/100 Ethernet transceiver chip. The chip's low power consumption is obtained in worst-case conditions with peak 100% transmission, RX enabling, and minimum inter-packet delay. Thanks to CID technology, it also saves power that would be dissipated via external 100-ohm resistors that other solutions require.

'This milestone in fast Ethernet technology is the result of STMicroelectronics' focus on providing fast Ethernet transceivers with the lowest possible power, highest port density, and smallest footprint,' says Piero Silvano, STMicroelectronics' Enterprise Connectivity unit gm. 'This is an important factor as Ethernet switches move beyond 48 ports per board.'

'Record-setting power dissipation in the PHYreIce core is also instrumental to its effective integration in a variety of system-on-chip and custom devices,' says Flavio Scarra, STMicroelectronics' Enterprise Connectivity unit design director.

Available in a 180-pin LBGA package with a 12 x 12-mm footprint, STE800P requires less than 25% of the board space of typical octal transceivers in 208-pin packages. It supports fast Ethernet connections of up to 150 meters over Category 5 unshielded twisted pair copper cable, and it incorporates eight full-duplex 10 Base-T/100 Base-TX Fast Ethernet transceivers.

STE800P operates from a 1.8-V core power supply. Its transformer center taps and digital interface may be run at either 2.5 V or 3.3 V, allowing them to directly interface with any ASIC design. It also supports a JTAG scan chain for in-circuit testing that lowers the board manufacturing costs and increases overall system quality.

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