AMD family targets communications

AMD family targets communicationsRichard Ball AMD has unveiled a family of microcontrollers aimed at communications systems. The first device in the Comm86 family is the Am186CC, based upon the company’s E86 range of devices. These integrate a 186 core with all necessary peripherals for an embedded system. This latest ‘CC’ version adds eight serial interfaces, including four high level data link control channels and a universal serial bus controller. The 186 core runs at up to 50MHz, which is fast enough, AMD says, for applications such as xDSLmodems, ISDN terminal adapters, low-end routers and digital phones. “These applications will represent a total market of about 48 million units in the year 2000,” said AMD’s Dave Everitt. “If we get 10 per cent of this we’ll be very happy.” Reference designs for a router and ISDN terminal are being offered with circuit boards available in August. AMD was one of the first companies to integrate a standard microprocessor core with many of the peripherals found in an embedded system. The Am186EM, an early member of the E86 family, combines a 40MHz 80186 with a USART, timers and counters, DMA control and a bus interface unit. Flash and RAM are connected directly with no interface logic and I/O devices such as A/D converters can be connected using the synchronous serial interface. Other members in the Comm86 family will be powered by the Elan 386 and 486 cores and eventually by the K6 microprocessor.
Devices using these processors will be aimed at the communications and datacoms infrastucture, such as high speed hubs and routers.

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