Issue: Apr 2010


"Green" Backbone Solution for Advanced Auto Entertainment Centers



by Lenny Case

Micrel Inc., an industry leader in analog, high bandwidth communications and Ethernet IC solutions, today introduced the KSZ8873MLL AM, a highly integrated 3-port switch on a chip IC, with low power dissipation, efficient power management and sophisticated QoS features (e.g., IPv6 priority classification support). The solution is qualified for AEC-Q100 and as such, enables automotive manufacturers to use Ethernet as the backbone for their next generation automotive multi-media networks. The IC is currently available in volume quantities, pricing is available upon request.

Last year, Micrel was the first IC manufacturer to supply Ethernet devices to a car with its introduction of the KSZ8041NL AM -- Single-Port Fast Ethernet Physical Layer Transceiver; KSZ8842-PMBL AM
-- 3-Port Managed Fast Ethernet Switch with PCI; and KSZ8893MQL AM -- 3-Port Managed Fast Ethernet Switch with MII/RMII -- the industry's first and only AEC-Q100 Automotive qualified Ethernet devices. The next step is using Ethernet as the backbone for next generation automotive multi-media networks carrying 'live' traffic.

"As Ethernet significantly reduces the cost of ownership in the automobile, the global automotive community is quickly embracing Ethernet as the defacto network platform in a car," noted Dr. J.C. Lin, Micrel's vice president of Ethernet Products. "Micrel, known for the highest quality and reliability products, is the first vendor to offer Ethernet ICs for automotive diagnostics and software download. This new switch product, with its low power and small footprint, offers customers the ideal solution to build the Ethernet backbone for the multimedia network in the next generation of vehicles."

Micrel's AEC-Q100 qualified (for automotive applications) device offers low power consumption and advanced power management schemes that accommodate "green" system design requirements. The KSZ8873MLL AM's small package size (64-pin LQFP) and high integration (on-chip
LDO) reduce system cost and simplify system design. In addition, the Port 1 and Port 2 by-pass mode allows the device connected to the MII interface so it can enter a power saving mode without impacting the normal switch operation. Enhanced QoS support (4-queue traffic prioritization and source address filtering) facilitates implementation of advanced QoS policies in the Ethernet ring network for automotive applications. Finally, the chip features source address filtering, rate limiting per queue and Auto-MDI/MDIX that eliminates the need for cross-over cable, thus reduces installation costs.

About Micrel, Inc.
Micrel Inc., is a leading global manufacturer of IC solutions for the worldwide analog, Ethernet and high bandwidth markets. The Company's products include advanced mixed-signal, analog and power semiconductors; high performance communication, clock management, Ethernet switch and physical layer transceiver ICs. Company customers include leading manufacturers of enterprise, consumer, industrial, mobile, telecommunications, automotive, and computer products. Corporation headquarters and state-of-the-art wafer fabrication facilities are located in San Jose, CA, with regional sales and support offices and advanced technology design centers situated throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. In addition, the Company maintains an extensive network of distributors and reps worldwide.
Web: http://www.micrel.com

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