Gateway-On-A-Chip provides multiple Ethernet ports.

Press Release Summary:

Suited for SOHO broadband gateways, model KS8695 chip and reference design package integrates 166 MHz, 32-bit ARM922T® CPU core with memory-management-unit; 5-port Ethernet managed switch; on-chip frame buffers; and 5 mixed-signal 10/100 transceivers. Connection types include WAN, PCMCIA, and MII interfaces. Unit provides performance headroom for differentiations such as Firewall, VPN, or routing speed.

Original Press Release:

Industry's Most Integrated ARM9®-Based Gateway Solution Provides Multiple Fast Ethernet Ports for SOHO Broadband

o First high-performance single-chip solution for SOHO gateway systems.

o Integrated ARM922T CPU, 5-port Ethernet switch, PHYs and on-chip memory.

o Interfaces enable combo wireline and wireless LAN router applications.

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- (November 1, 2002) - The industry's most integrated high-performance SOHO gateway solution, the KS8695 chip and reference design package, is now available from Micrel Semiconductor (NASDAQ: MCRL), an industry leader in the design and manufacture of integrated circuits for the high-speed communications, power management and analog markets.

The KS8695 is the latest addition to Micrel's Ethernet product family for small office/home office (SOHO) and residential gateway, networking, wireless LAN and fiber-to-the-home Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) applications. The device is a multi-port gateway-on-a-chip supported by software and tools to provide a complete hardware and software solution for ODM/OEM customers.

With the introduction of the KS8695, Micrel is the first company to successfully integrate 5-port fast Ethernet transceivers, MACs, switch controller and on-chip frame buffer memory with a high-performance ARM922T core, offering a fully-optimized solution for the SOHO gateway market.

"The fast-growing SOHO and home broadband gateway markets need highly-integrated SoC solutions that enable users to develop cost-competitive products. The KS8695 provides performance headroom for value-added differentiations such as Firewall, VPN or routing speed. The KS8695 aims for the sweet spot of the gateway markets with best-in-class feature set integration," said Dr. Tian Liou, vice president and general manager for Micrel-Kendin Operations.

"Micrel-Kendin was the first to introduce an integrated 5-port Ethernet switch for the gateway market. Following on the heels of generations of switch and transceiver products and shipments of more than 70 million Fast Ethernet ports, the KS8695 represents a new plateau of integrated silicon solution for Micrel-Kendin. We expect it to enhance our market leadership by providing the user with the best price/performance value possible," Dr. Liou said.

The KS8695 is a single-chip solution which integrates all the key components needed for a high-performance, low-cost, low-power multiple-Ethernet-port broadband gateway. The KS8695-based platform enables OEM/ODM customers to provide up to 6 times the routing performance of a typical existing gateway product. It offers the following features and benefits:

o A 166MHz 32-bit ARM922T® CPU core with a memory-management-unit (MMU). The high-performance CPU core provides a platform to deliver value-added differentiation such as Firewall, VPN or routing performance. The MMU is needed to run some embedded operating systems such as Linux or WinCE®.

o5-port Ethernet managed switch, on-chip frame buffers and five low-power mixed-signal 10/100 transceivers for WAN port Internet sharing and LAN switching at wire speed.

o The WAN port connection supports xDSL, cable modem, wireless and fiber. All five transceivers support Auto MDI/MDIX to detect and support crossover cable.

o PCMCIA and MII interfaces for wireless LAN 802.11 and its variants (802.11b/a/g) to enable combo wireline and wireless LAN router products.

o A variety of hardware accelerations and optimizations to offload CPU utilization to enhance performance. Included are a protocol engine and three DMA engines with FIFO buffers. The protocol engine speeds up network protocol applications such as NAT, the most common SOHO gateway protocol for the Internet sharing. The DMA engines and FIFO buffers increase the data traffic efficiency among the WAN port, CPU, and LAN ports.

Target Applications

Typical applications include SOHO and residential gateway for broadband access sharing, firewall or VPN (Virtual Private Network) security appliance, and combo wireline and wireless LAN gateway. Additionally, the KS8695 can address VoIP gateway or Fiber-to-the-Home CPE applications.

Reference Design & Evaluation Platform

Complete SOHO gateway hardware and software reference designs are available for the KS8695 chipset development. Included are a Linux-based gateway solution for fast time-to-market, various board support packages, and source codes for ODM/OEM customers to incorporate with their embedded operating system and software development environment. Evaluation boards for a stand-alone gateway system or combo wireless and wireline gateway are also available.

Availability & Price

The KS8695 is available in production volumes today. It's supplied in a 208-pin PQFP package and priced below $20 for 10,000 pieces order quantity. A turnkey reference design has been developed for gateway application, complete with firmware, kernel and application software support.

Micrel Semiconductor is a leading manufacturer of advanced, high performance communications, clock management, Ethernet router, switch and physical layer transceiver, mixed signal, analog and power ICs. These products include devices for fiber-optic telecommunications and networking, cellular telephones, servers, portable computer systems, computer peripherals, process control systems, consumer electronics and power supplies.

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