Neuron communications hit 40 MHz

Cypress Semiconductor has introduced the industry’s first 40 MHz intelligent control communications processor for Lonworks control networks. Each device contains three 8-bit CPUs, on-board memory, 11 general purpose I/O pins, and a complete, interoperable implementation of the ANSI/EIA709.1-A-1999 Control Network Protocol standard.

Neuron Chips provide the logic for Lonworks networks, an open, interoperable control networking standard widely used in building automation, industrial control, transportation, and utility automation applications.

The CY7C53120E4 operates at 40 MHz – four times the speed of existing controllers – providing the performance sought by designers of time-critical applications, such as embedded Internet systems that remotely monitor and control electrical devices through online connections. This controller integrates 4 KBytes of on-board EEPROM, allowing designers to cost-effectively implement it in large, complex systems.

Cypress is also introducing the CY7C53120E2 and CY7C53150 devices, exact drop-in replacements for legacy designs. The CY7C53150 operates at 20 MHz, double the speed of earlier devices. It supports up to 58 KBytes of off-chip program and data for large, low-cost, high-performance Lonworks applications. The CY7C53120E2 is configured with 2 KBytes of EEPROM and operates at 10 MHz.

The communications controllers are the first to be manufactured using Cypress’s SONOS (Silicon Oxide Nitride Oxide Silicon) process, a cost-effective, proprietary, programmable, non-volatile memory technology compatible with logic and SRAM. The use of SONOS technology enabled Cypress engineers to develop its controllers in a record time of nine months. The 0.35-micron SONOS process makes possible a smaller die, resulting in a fast, 40 MHz Neuron device.

Market consensus over seven competing network standards also is expected to drive the growth of LONWORKS networks and the Neuron Chips they rely on. Lonworks received an important vote of confidence when Cisco Systems’s CEO John Chambers endorsed the standard at last year’s Comdex trade show.

Cisco uses a Lonworks network in its Internet Home Briefing Center to demonstrate applications and services that can be found in a home with broadband Internet services, such as multi-player gaming, video on demand, and home management.

The home contains the traditional wiring – phone and power only – used in most existing homes, as well as a wiring layout used in new and custom homes that includes data, voice and video. A virtual tour of the home can be accessed at

Cypress will ship its intelligent communications control devices early in 2001. The 40 MHz and 10 MHz versions of the CY7C53120, priced at about $4.20 and $3.55 respectively for volumes of 10,000, will be packaged in 32-pin SOIC and 44-pin TQFP. The 20 MHz CY7C53150 device will be packaged in a 64-pin TQFP and priced at about $3.25 in volumes of 10,000.

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