What is being described as “the industry’s lowest power” IEEE 1394a integrated link controller and physical layer (PHY) devices compatible with version 1.1 of the Open Host Control Interface (OHCI) specification are now available from
Texas Instruments. IEEE 1394 is the technical name for FireWire.
The new devices are the smallest integrated PHY and link controller solutions available, and reduce power consumption up to 67 percent over existing, competing solutions, according to the folks at TI. With the announcement just made, there are no details on how it could affect Mac systems. However, TI said mobile and desktop computers, Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) add-in cards and PC cards would benefit from the “low power consumption, small footprint, cost efficiency and higher performance of the new solutions.” From here on, things get pretty technical, so if you’re not into that sort of thing, feel free to move on to another MacCentral article.
The TSB43AB21 and TSB43AB23 1394 PHY/Link controllers are the highest performance OHCI solutions available that interface the FireWire high-speed serial bus and the PCI bus used in most personal computers, according to Randall Trost, TI’s marketing manager, World Wide Computer Connectivity Solutions. The devices are fully compliant with the latest versions of these standards (PCI Local Bus 2.2, PCI Power Management 1.1 and IEEE 1394a-2000 at 100-, 200- and 400 Mbps), as well as OHCI 1.1, a PC 2001 requirement, he said.
The TSB43AB21 and TSB43AB23 both provide the lowest power consumption available in the industry for laptops, by implementing an ultra-low power mode that consumes as little as 4.5 milliWatt (mW) during the D3 low power state, Trost said. The TSB43AB21 features an integrated 400 Mbps, one-port PHY, while the TSB43AB23 features a three-port version. Both devices offer “intelligent” integrated power management and a 1.8-V core operating voltage with universal PCI interfaces compatible with 3.3-V and 5-V PCI signaling environments.
The TSB43AB21 and TSB43AB23 1394 PHY/link controller devices are sampling now, with volume production scheduled for the third quarter. Both devices are packaged in a 128-pin lead-free thin quad flatpack (TQFP), with planned pricing of US$5.84 each in quantities of 10,000 for the TSB43AB21 and $6.67 in quantities of 10,000 for the TSB43AB23.