NEC to Begin Sales of OHCI 1.1 Compatible Low Power Consumption IEEE 1394 LSI

NEC Corporation today announced it will begin sampling from August 2001 of an Open Host Controller Interface (OHCI) version 1.1 compatible IEEE 1394 link LSI with physical layer (PHY) device. The new LSI (product name: µPD72873 /µPD72874) has one of the lowest power consumption levels in the industry and is expected to replace existing control devices for Notebook and desktop PCs.
The IEEE 1394 high-speed serial bus attracts attention now as the crucial interface for inter-connection between PCs and more recently, for the connection between AV and PC applications. As multimedia functions, such as, the capturing of images from digital camcorders have been adopted by PCs; the IEEE1394 interface has become an extremely important component as part of the PC composition.

NEC’s LSI, with Low Power Technology, provides a 60 percent power consumption reduction over existing products making it ideal for mobile applications. When other devices are not connected to the IEEE 1394 bus, the reduction is approximately 75 percent and when the system is suspended, power consumption is cut by more than 90% percent. These vast reductions have substantially improved the operating time of battery operated Notebook PCs, and also made possible two-port loading of IEEE1394 ports.

The µPD72873 with 2 ports and µPD72874 with 3 ports are based on both Ver1.1 of the OHCI and IEEE1394a-2000 standards, which will be officially recognized by Microsoft as the standards for their software. Moreover, it is expected that in the near future the OHCI 1.1 will become a compulsory requirement of part of Microsoft’s “Hardware Design Guide”. The new product offered by NEC takes in to account both the existing and anticipated standards.

NEC’s OHCI 1.1 version compliant LSI has a pin compatibility with most of the existing products and can be interchanged with new products with only minimal alteration to the design. In addition, the pin compatibility between the µPD72873-2 port product and µPDs72874-3 port product (except for the signal terminal for one port) makes it possible to change the design for products with different port numbers on the one motherboard.

Another feature of the µPD72873/µPD72874 is that even before the release of the OHCI 1.1 driver, it will be possible to operate the new product with the OHCI 1.0 version by external EEPROM.

The IEEE 1394 is the next generation high-speed serial bus standard that supports data and real-time transmission functions, advancing inter-connection between digital AV, household-electronics, and PCs. The IEEE 1394 high-speed transmission capability at 100Mbps, 200Mbps, and 400Mbps, and its plug and play function means that the initial setup of essential software is executed automatically without the need for human interaction.

NEC expects the high performance and cost efficiency of the µPD72873/µPD72874 will make it the multimedia home network interface of the future.


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