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Oct 21, 1996

October 21, 1996 -- National Semiconductor Corporation® today announced the first members of its Channel Link chip family for high-speed interconnect in telecommunications and data communications applications. Channel Link devices can be used for high-bandwidth (up to 1.12 Gbit/second) point-to-point links within a system and also for short (<10m) box-to-box connections such as stackable hubs and inter-rack / shelf cabling.

In current telecom and datacom system designs, transporting signals within a system and from system to system is an ever increasing challenge. Traditional point-to-point interconnect technologies (such as RS-232 or RS-422) do not have the bandwidth to move large amounts of data, such as video and 3-D graphics, from system to system. And newer high-speed serial buses, such as IEEE 1394, PECL or Fibre Channel, are often expensive and/or require high power.

Based on Low Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS) technology, Channel Link gives system designers a high speed point-to-point interconnect solution that stays within tight power and budget parameters. The low swing, differential nature of LVDS also reduces noise and emissions. This means less filtering is required to waveshape the transmitted data and results in a lower system cost. Compared to PECL, the saving in cost and power is about two-thirds with Channel Link.

"LVDS's low swing, current mode signaling technology offers a combination high speed, low power and low noise."said Doug Turnage, Director of Interface Marketing. "Channel Link takes advantage of LVDS's speed to significantly reduce cable and connector costs by taking 24 to 28 bits of TTL data and moving it through only four or five LVDS channels."

Channel Link Family Features
Channel Link devices are implemented in CMOS technology and are extremely power efficient (Max Icc <80 mA). In addition, by eliminating the protocol layer, Channel Link offers a much simpler point-to-point interconnect than alternatives. This makes it an ideal solution for proprietary internal system connections.

The first two chipsets in the Channel Link family are the DS90CR211/212 and the DS90CR281/282. Key features include power-down mode, common mode noise rejection (+/- 1V), 345mV swing for low EMI, and PLLs that require no external components.

The DS90CR211/212 chipset offers an 840 Mbit/second bandwidth and four pairs of bus lines which reduce cable size. The DS90CR281/282 chipset offers a 1.12 Gbit/second bandwidth over 10 bus lines.

Price and Availability
The DS90CR211/212MTD chipset comes in a 48-lead TSSOP package and is priced at $7.75 for each chip in 1,000-piece quantities. The DS90CR281/282MTD devices come in 56-lead TSSOP packages and are priced at $7.95 for each chip in 1,000-piece quantities.

National Semiconductor produces analog and mixed signal based silicon solutions for the information highway, communications, consumer and industrial markets. National Semiconductor is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, and has 19,000 employees worldwide. In fiscal 1996, the company reported sales of $2.6 billion. Additional company information is available on the World Wide Web at www. national.com.