ST Creates Customizable Mixed-Signal Chip for Motion, Power Management

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) unveiled the industry’s first IC with a complete set of configurable and customizable analog functions that represent a market-unique solution for printer, fax, and point-of-sale system applications. The new device, called the Structured Architecture of Bridges and Regulators (S.A.B.Re(TM)), combines low development costs and short time-to-market with maximum flexibility.

The S.A.B.Re solution complements ST’s SPEAr (Structured Processor Enhanced Architecture) family of customizable digital engines for printers, scanners and other embedded-control applications, extending the concept of easy configurability and customizability to the analog domain. Together, SPEAr and the S.A.B.Re constitute the first complete customizable printer platform in the market.

STMicroelectronics S.A.B.Re ChipST’s S.A.B.Re device integrates a large number of features that can be configured and customized, including motor drivers, regulators, an analog-to-digital converter, operational amplifiers and voltage comparators. The unique flexibility enables customers to easily and quickly adapt the S.A.B.Re device to the specific needs of a particular application.

Certain architectural changes can be programmed via the serial interface and/or general purpose I/Os, while more complex functions can be customized with metal layers implementing specific macro functions. The metal customization does not modify any active part of the silicon, minimizing the risk of undesired parasitic effects, which are the biggest cause of problems in mixed-signal circuits.

The S.A.B.Re IC has been primarily developed for motion and power-supply parts in printer applications. Standing out from existing motor drivers and switching regulators, ST’s device functions as the “master” and manages the whole power section of the application with specific programmable PowerUp routines before the digital IC switches on. Due to its flexibility, ST’s S.A.B.Re can address any high-power, high-voltage analog and motor applications across the industrial segment.

“ST’s S.A.B.Re represents a first-of-its-kind solution with a complete set of analog functions for motion and power-management applications,” said Vittorio Peduto, General Manager of ST’s Computer Systems Division. “Customers get a highly configurable and customizable device that offers the flexibility of a dedicated product at a fraction of the time and cost required by a full-custom design approach.”

The main components of ST’s S.A.B.Re IC are four configurable bridges that can also function as switching regulators or power charge; a variable-voltage buck switching regulator; a switching regulator controller; a linear regulator; a multi-channel configurable 9-bit A/D converter; two operational amplifiers; a bi-directional serial interface and several general-purpose I/Os.

The S.A.B.Re’s very low power consumption and minimal power dissipation in power-off mode meet the requirements of energy-efficiency programs such as the Energy Star in the US.

Samples are available now, with volume production planned for Q4 2007. The S.A.B.Re IC is priced in the range of US$2.20-2.50, in quantities of several thousand units.

About STMicroelectronics
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 2006, the Company’s net revenues were $9.85 billion and net earnings were $782 million.

S.A.B.Re is a trademark of STMicroelectronics