STMicroelectronics Debuts L5961 Integrated MOST Power Management Chip

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a world leader in automotive semiconductors, announced the launch of the industry’s first integrated power-management solution for MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transport) networks. Optimized for in car multimedia and infotainment applications, the MOST network was originally developed for the automotive industry, but also has a wide range of applications in many other industries. MOST technology primarily allows for a range of multimedia devices, such as CD or DVD players, car radios, and personal navigation devices, to be added into the car environment with minimal effort.

STMicroelectronics L5961 Integrated Power Management Chip for MOST NetworksThe new L5961 power management IC, which has been designed in cooperation with fabless semiconductor manufacturer SMSC to work with that company’s MOST network processors, includes both the power supply and MOST-compliant power-management control logic, together with enhanced diagnostic and full system monitoring (power supply, network status, wake-up events, temperature).

A chipset combining the L5961 power-management IC and and SMSC network processor can serve as a building block in any MOST network node, and provides significantly more independence from the individual applications that are connected to the network, in terms of turn-on/off timing and device failure, for example. Additionally, the combined chipset, once validated, can be placed in any MOST application without having to be redesigned and revalidated each time.

The current solution in the industry uses discrete components to implement the power management for MOST network nodes. ST’s integration of both the power-management control logic and power supply within the L5961 therefore provides several key advantages for automotive OEMs, including significant PCB space savings, lower cost, lower cost of ownership and lower stand-by-mode power consumption, helping to meet specifications recently issued by many leading car manufacturers. In particular, the device features multiple power modes, including an Ultra-Zero Power Mode that offers a typical quiescent current of only 5 microamps, a considerably lower value than that achieved with discrete components. The overall offering is a cost- and space-optimized solution that provides considerable advantages in terms of reproducibility and fail-safe behavior of the application.

Other features of the L5961include: an integrated 5 or 3.3V, 650mA DC-DC converter, which supplies the network processor and can also supply power to an external low-voltage application; two voltage regulators to supply power to the fiber-optic transmitter and fiber-optic receiver; a diagnostic transceiver for the network physical layer; and the integration of three battery detectors for voltage monitoring, which are currently stand-alone functions in discrete component solutions.

“The L5961 is the industry’s first integrated MOST power-management solution, implementing both power supply and power management for the network processor,” said Domenico Rossi, General Manager of ST’s Car Multimedia Division. “This chipset combination of ST’s know-how in power management together with SMSC’s expertise in MOST networks is a compelling proposal for the automotive in-car infotainment industry.”

“ST’s L5961 integrates all the discrete circuitry usually necessary to generate power supplies and power management for a MOST node,” said Dr. Christian Thiel, Vice President and Managing Director of SMSC’s automotive group. “It allows a designer to significantly reduce the number of components on the PCB, offering immediate benefits such as cost reduction, lower complexity and improvement of quality.”

Available in PowerSSO36 packages, or in the PowerSO36 option for applications requiring a higher thermal dissipation, engineering samples of the L5961 are now available to lead customers. Full qualification of the L5961, ready for volume production, is planned for Q3 2008. The L5961 is priced at $3 in quantities of 1000.

MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transport) is a networking standard intended for interconnecting multimedia components in automobiles and other vehicles. Unlike many other existing vehicle bus technologies, MOST relies on optical fiber, so it can operate at higher bit-rates than wired buses.

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 2007, the Company’s net revenues were $10.0 billion.

MOST is a trademark of Standard Microsystems Corp. (SMSC).