STMicroelectronics Announces New Portfolio of Application-Specific Signal Switches
Geneva, November 25, 2005 - STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) has introduced a portfolio of application-specific analog, digital, and power switches, named NEATSwitch™, designed to address the growing demand for application-specific switches that deliver higher performance while meeting increasingly demanding cost, space, and power constraints.
This demand is driven by the continuing rapid convergence of functions in mobile and digital consumer equipment and the multiplicity of new, emerging standards in high-speed data communication such as HDMI/DVI, 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN, and PCI-Express. These functions require application-specific signal switches built with state-of-the-art technology solutions such as very low-capacitance transistors or copper metallization, combined with innovations in circuit design and packaging technology.
The NEATSwitch products leverage ST’s unsurpassed ability to combine deep submicron geometries with relatively high-voltage (5V) operation, its long-term leadership in mixed-signal circuit design, and its expertise in innovative packaging. This unique combination enables ST to design and fabricate switches that offer very low on-resistance, low capacitance, high bandwidth and low power consumption and which are housed in the smallest packages.
For example, analog switches in the NEATSwitch range include the world’s smallest 16-pin SMD quad-SPDT (single-pole, double throw) switch in a 2.6 x 1.8 x 0.55mm QFN16 package and the smallest dual-SPDT switch, housed in a 2.5 x 1.3 x 0.7mm DFN10 package. These switches feature a very low on-resistance of 0.5-ohms and a very low current of only 200nA and are specifically optimized for mobile-phone applications where SPDT analog switches are used to direct audio/data signals between various functional blocks.
“The proliferation of new standards coupled with the ever-increasing pressure to reduce costs, PCB space, and power consumption means that equipment manufacturers are increasingly looking to replace general-purpose switches with application-specific devices that are precisely tailored to their particular requirements,” said Steven Fong, Marketing Manager for ST’s Advanced Logic and Mixed Signal Business Unit. “The NEATSwitch portfolio is the result of a convergence of competences that ST has brought together to address this trend in the market for integrated circuit switches.”
The benefits of this approach are exemplified in the NEATSwitch Digital-Switch line-up, which includes an HDMI Switch, a high-bandwidth 2:1 multiplexer/demultiplexer specifically designed to support the emerging HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) standard that is being increasingly deployed in new digital consumer products, especially those that must display video signals from multiple sources.
The NEATSwitch power-switch family exploits ST’s long-standing leadership in smart power technologies, mixing analog and logic circuitry with integrated power MOSFETs. For example, the ExpressCard power-interface switch offers total power-monitoring solution required by the ExpressCard specification, while the USB power switches provide current-limiting protection in a smartcard slot and USB applications such as USB peripherals, notebook PCs, and USB-powered hubs, where heavy capacitive loads and short circuits are a major concern. These devices integrate two 80m-ohm N-Channel MOSFET high-side power switches, each controlled by an individual logic-enable signal, and capable of continuous current intake of up to 500mA. Future offerings will integrate both start-up blanking features and reverse current protection, providing even higher levels of performances and accuracy than are currently available.
The market for application-specific signal switches is particularly attractive for ST because it requires a mix of expertise that few other semiconductor manufacturers can rival. These characteristics include leadership in analog- and mixed-signal technologies and circuit design – ST is the world number 1 in analog Application Specific Standard Products according to the latest rankings by independent market analyst iSuppli – and package miniaturization and innovation, where ST is a world leader with its MLP (MicroLeadframe Package) and µTFBGA Flip Chip packages.
For the future, ST is currently developing devices that exploit the synergies between its analog, digital, and power-switching expertise, such as single-chip switches for future LCD and PDP High-Definition TVs, which will require a mix of analog legacy signal and high-bandwidth digital signal to deliver the new high-definition video.
Further information on the NEATSwitch range is available at: www.st.com/neatswitch
About ST’s Microcontroller, Linear & Discrete Group
STMicroelectronics is a world leader in offering complete system solutions that leverage its rich portfolio of Microcontroller, Linear, and Discrete products, advanced process and design technologies, and applications expertise. This emphasis on solutions allows the Company to minimize time-to-market for all customers worldwide in existing and emerging applications.
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today’s convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2004, the Company’s net revenues were $8.76 billion and net earnings were $601 million. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.
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