Communications is becoming a necessity in all types of products, so there's a strong push to increase speeds and trim costs. That's especially true in the home and cars, where consumers press for lower prices.
In some of these applications, trimming costs is the primary goal. In the home, cost will be key for convincing consumers that they can benefit from linking products together. In cars, it's equally critical as more electronic functions continue to appear.
But there's also a need for higher speeds as engineers send more data across networks. That's happening in cars as the drive for more functionality is surpassing the capability of existing networks.
Powerline chip cuts costs
STMicroelectronics is extending its reach in narrowband power line communications with the ST7540. This half duplex Binary-FSK transceiver handles two-way network communication while cutting costs.
It's smaller and has fewer pins than its predecessor, and further trims costs by offering single ended power amplifier, reducing the need for external signal components. The chip has eight selectable carrier frequencies, covering CENELEC bands A, B and C, and four programmable baud rates from 600 to 4,800 bits per second.
It also includes programmable header recognition and frame length count, increasing efficiency and reducing power consumption because the microcontroller is activated only when specific messages are detected. A 3.3V 50 mA voltage regulator trims power requirements, further reducing costs. The 28-pin package costs $5 in quantities of 1,000.
Transceiver helps bringFlexRay to cars
Now that FlexRay is beginning to appear in new cars, austriamicrosystems is entering the market with the AS8221 high-speed transceiver. The AS8221, one of the first single-chip FlexRay transceivers, helps make the high-speed, safety critical time triggered bus
A viable alternative to the multiple CAN networks now being used in the automotive environment. It offers high differential bus voltage levels and high symmetry on output stage, simplifying design of the physical interface between the protocol controller and the network cabling. The chip's 10 Mbits/sec far exceeds the 1 Mbit/sec rate of CAN, which is widely used in vehicles.
CAN controller helps trim costs
Freescale Semiconductor is shipping single-wire CAN transceivers with 8- and 14-pin compatibility, giving vehicle manufacturers more flexibility. The MC33987 devices let designers pick the features and costs they need.
These single-wire CAN transceivers transmit CAN signals over one wire instead of two, meeting cost-sensitive applications such as power windows, door locks, and mirror controls. The LIN architecture is sometimes used in these applications, but using single-wire CAN may trim costs. The 8- and 14-pin devices drop into existing board layouts. They cost 87 cents each in 10,000-unit quantities.