Texas Instruments is strengthening its presence in the data communications and networking arenas, unveiling three bus switch families. These products address various industry trends, working with multiple voltage levels, different signaling standards, and faster speeds.
TI is now making a major push in this area, planning to unveil more than 100 parts over the next year or so. TI expects the market for these switches to grow by about 10% in the coming year, rising from around $100 million, or about a tenth of the total market for CMOS logic devices.
One of the new families, CB3T, takes aim at the move to lower voltage devices. The industry is rapidly moving to sub-5V devices, which are a small part of current bus switch shipments.
"Five-volt switches account for 75-80% of the market, but the 3V and lower segment is growing," says David Hoover, worldwide product marketing manager for TI's Standard Linear and Logic Group (www.ti.com/signalswitches), Sherman, TX.
The voltage translator parts operate at 3.3 or 2.5V and support systems with 5V TTL, 3.3V LVTTL, and 2.5V CMOS switching standards. It's one of the first chips that translates signals between these various levels, making it simpler for engineers to intermix the different technologies. That's expected to become increasingly important as heat in large systems and power consumption in portable gear prompts engineers to move to lower voltage ICs.
"This will become more important as system designers try to support mixed signals operating at different voltages," Hoover says.
High performance systems like »switches, routers, and hubs are the target for the CB3Q family. The parts have very low and flat on-state resistance and 0 to 5V rail-to-rail switching, as well as low input/output capacitance, so signal integrity remains high. "When you're running a fast system, rise and fall times are narrow, so any wiggle or edge roll off can be catastrophic," Hoover says. In fact, propagation delays are low enough (250 picoseconds) to not be a problem.
The general-purpose CBT-C components offer -2V undershoot protection, which is critical in environments where signal reflections and undershoot are important.
The families all come in a variety of packages, from shrink small outline packages (SSOP) down to very fine pitch ball grid arrays. They also use TI's leadless NanoStar technology. "Packaging is a differentiator. NanoStar is 70% smaller than other logic packages," Hoover says.