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New Optimizer Chipset Delivers Benefits of USB Interface in a Business Card-Sized DSL Modem

FREMONT, Calif., May 25, 1999 –
Centillium Technology Corporation, a leader in Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) chipset solutions, today announced the industry’s most highly integrated, lowest power-consumption chipset for DSL modems. Based on third-generation patented technology, Centillium’s Optimizer™ Chipset uses just two chips, dramatically reducing the cost, form factor, and power usage normally associated with DSL modems. For the first time ever, modem manufacturers can develop business card-sized ADSL G.Lite (G.992.2) modems, while carriers and consumers can leverage the preferred Universal Serial Bus interface to ease the deployment of DSL services.

The first member of the Optimizer Chipset family features a Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface, providing instant "plug and play" configuration as well as a built-in power source for the modem. The USB interface eases the deployment of DSL modems to consumer and SOHO (small office, home office) markets by eliminating the need for lengthy installation procedures or opening up the customer’s PC. The new chipset also expands the potential market for DSL services by making G.Lite DSL modems smaller, lighter, less expensive, and easier to power. By eliminating the need for an external AC power supply, for example, the new Centillium chipset allows owners of battery-powered mobile computing devices to more conveniently utilize DSL modems.

Several leading modem equipment manufacturers, including Askey, CIS, Digicom Systems, and GVC, will present G.Lite DSL access products based on the Optimizer Chipset at SuperComm99 (Atlanta GA, June 8-10).

"The new Optimizer Chipset from Centillium uses the USB port to help solve a critical installation and support problem for DSL service providers," said Raj Johal, vice president and general manager, Digicom Systems, a subsidiary of Creative Technologies Ltd. "Most DSL modems are fairly bulky, require a separate power supply, and need to be installed by a trained technician who comes to the customer’s residence. Based on Centillium’s new chipset, we have developed a DSL modem that simply plugs into any USB port and draws power through the connection. Minimal software setup is required and no customer service visit is necessary. This will save significant costs and ease the deployment process for carriers and consumer alike."

"Centillium is highly focused on developing the most cost-effective integrated DSL modem chipsets in the industry," said Dori Braun, director of marketing for CPE products, Centillium Technology. "By applying very high levels of system integration to our CPE chipset technology, Centillium engineers have reduced the chip count to just two devices. This lowers the system bill-of-material count and cost; reduces size and power dissipation; and increases portability. In fact, the Optimizer Chipset effectively opens up the entire notebook computing market to broadband technology, dramatically increasing the number of end users who can benefit from ADSL speed access to the Internet."

Centillium CopperLite CPE Chipset Pushes System Integration to New Levels

Centillium's CopperLite Central Office (CO) and Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) chipset family is the industry's first end-to-end DSL solution specifically designed for mass consumer markets. They provide users with high-bandwidth Internet access at speeds of 1536kbps downstream and 512kbps upstream over "Plain Old Telephone Service" (POTS) – or up to 27 times faster than conventional 56kbps analog modems.

The USB Optimizer Chipset leverages Centillium’s patent-pending DSP technology to integrate a USB interface into a single chip, eliminating costly external FPGAs, bus controller devices, hardware SARs, and associated memory. Software stacks are provided to support classic RFC1483, IP/ATM, and PPP/ATM protocols. The SAR function is supported via host processing at only 3% of CPU utilization (300MHz Pentium), further reducing the overall cost of the solution. Because the modem is not dependent on the host CPU to manage its operation, there is no deterioration in PC performance. As a result, utilization of both platforms is optimized. By eliminating several chips, the chipset delivers the following benefits:

  • The Optimizer Chipset reduces system costs. DSL modem system costs are reduced by approximately 25% through the integration of devices.
  • The Optimizer Chipset reduces system power consumption. DSL modems based on the Optimizer Chipset can operate in a low-power environment where current is supplied through the USB bus.
  • The Optimizer Chipset reduces system form factor. This enables OEMs to develop DSL modems smaller than a standard business card.
  • The Optimizer Chipset is ideal for DSL modems targeting battery-powered mobile computing devices. For the first time, notebook computer users, such as telecommuters and business travelers, can enjoy the ADSL G.Lite Internet access speed usually associated with desktop computers.

Universal Serial Bus Interface Eases Deployment for User and Carriers

The Optimizer Chipset with USB interface is designed for external modems targeting desktop computers, notebook computers, and set-top boxes. By drawing power through the USB connection, the business card-sized modems eliminate the need for an external power supply. This makes it easy for residential and SOHO users to utilize these modems without having to dedicate a separate power outlet and consumer precious desktop space.

Because USB provides instant plug and play recognition, users can add or remove CopperLite-based equipment without having to install add-in cards, shut down or reboot the computer, or exit a running software application. The PC automatically recognizes, configures, and immediately enables functionality. As a result, USB modems are the preferred platform for carriers rolling out DSL services to residential and small business markets.

Product Availability

Centillium’s Optimizer Chipset with USB interface will be available the third quarter of 1999 in OEM quantities.

About Centillium Technology

Centillium Technology is a communication solutions company dedicated to delivering high-speed Internet access to bandwidth-hungry businesses and consumers. The company designs and markets Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) chipset solutions for central office equipment, DLC line cards, and customer premises equipment. Centillium’s chipset family is the industry's highest density, lowest power dissipation solution available to networking equipment manufacturers today. Additional information is available at For sales information, contact Dori Braun at (510) 360-5070.


© 1999 Centillium Technology Corp. CopperLite is a trademark of Centillium Technology Corp. All product or service names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

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