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National Semiconductor Introduces Industry’s First 18-bit LVDS SerDes to Simplify Design and Reduce Cost of Communications Systems

Sep 22, 2003

September 22, 2003 - National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE: NSM) today introduced the industry’s first low voltage differential signaling (LVDS) 18-bit serializer/deserializer (SerDes) as part of its continuing campaign to simplify the design of communication systems and drive down engineering costs.   As part of a broad SerDes portfolio, this new device extends National Semiconductor’s innovative leadership in low voltage differential signaling (LVDS) technology by handling a full 18-bit payload.  Many networking and communication system applications are appropriate for this product, including 3G base stations, wireless local loop systems, broadband access equipment, imaging/display interfaces and high-speed industrial links.

“Our customers asked us to add two extra bits to our popular 16-bit SerDes for their critical control signals,” said Dave Lewis, marketing manager for the PC and Networking Group, National Semiconductor.  “Other SerDes architectures can’t accommodate this kind of change.  The flexibility of our LVDS SerDes architecture allowed us to easily expand from 16 to 18 bits.  In applications where system designers want to avoid extra data processing on one or both ends of the SerDes link, National Semiconductor’s new DS92LV18 provides an elegant solution.”

Two extra bits can be extremely useful to system designers. Though data buses are typically byte-oriented (e.g. 8 or 16 bits wide), many buses also include other non-data signals such as control, parity, frame, status, etc.  Transmitting this non-data information traditionally requires adding another SerDes link in parallel (doubling interconnect costs) or inserting control words or packets into the serial data stream (adding complexity through buffering and multiple clock domains).  Both of these methods complicate system design, increasing system cost and design time.  With National Semiconductor’s DS92LV18 18-bit SerDes, system designers serialize their extra signals together with their data at the existing system data bus clock frequency, eliminating the overhead and hassles of previous solutions.

The DS92LV18’s benefits for system designers include:

  • Reduced System Cost and Complexity 
    • Send “Non-data” info across the link easily and efficiently without packets, increased parallel bus clock rates or additional components
    • Receiver lock to random requires no training patterns or special characters
      • “Plug and go” synchronization capability
      • No system intervention required upon hot insertion
    • Compatible with low cost clock sources
  • Flexible and Easy-to-Use
    • Wide, 15 – 66 MHz operating range supports 0.270 – 1.188 Gigabit per second (Gbps) payloads 
    • Relaxed clocking requirements compared to other SerDes devices 
    • Enables fully independent transmit and receive channels 
      • Allows different upstream and downstream data rates
      • Can power down transmitter and/or receiver when idle or not in use
    • Supports line and local loopback test modes 
    • Design- and EMI-friendly LVDS serial I/O

Availability, Packaging and Pricing
Available today, the DS92LV18 is offered in an 80-pin plastic quad flat pack (PQFP) package.  It is priced at $9.95 each in 1,000-unit quantities.  The DS92LV18 Design Guide and Evaluation Board are available for easy design-in and qualification.  More information and datasheets are located at: http://lvds.national.com

About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor is the premier analog company driving the information age. Combining real-world analog and state-of-the-art digital technology, the company is focused on analog-based semiconductor products, which include stand-alone devices and subsystems in the areas of power management, imaging, display drivers, audio, amplifiers and data conversion. The company targets key markets such as wireless, displays, PCs, networks and a broad range of portable applications. With headquarters in Santa Clara, California, National reported sales of $1.67 billion for its most recent fiscal year. Additional company and product information is available on the World Wide Web at www.national.com
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