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DSC uses digital power-control tech to top analogue

Posted: 29 Oct 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:digital signal controller  digital power control  DSP 

New Japan Radio Co. Ltd (NJR) begins mass production of a digital signal controller that uses digital power-control technology giving serious competition to Microchip, TI and others in the digital signal controller (DSC) market.


The company, a supplier of analogue, mixed-signal and discrete devices, has started mass production of the NJU20010 DSC. The device combines a DSP, a 16bit controller and other functions on one chip. It is designed for digital-controlled power supply applications, according to Shoichi Matsumoto, general manager, NJR.

The device is shipping amid a roller coaster ride in the analogue and mixed-signal arena. After the IC downturn in 2009, the chip market was hot in 1H 2010. Analogue was sizzling, as vendors saw huge demand, shortages and extended lead times.

There are still some spot shortages for selected products, Matsumoto said. "The quantities are still big (in analogue and discretes), but average selling prices are down," he explained.

Formed in 1959, NJR competes against Linear, National, NXP, Microchip, Rohm, ST, TI and others. It operates 4-inch and 5-inch fabs, producing 0.8micron chips (and above) based on CMOS, bipolar and BCD processes. About 20 to 25 per cent of its output is outsourced to some four foundries, including Dongbu HiTek.

The NJU20010 supports applications that cannot be achieved by analogue technology. "Conventional switching regulators mainly employ analogue power-control. But the digital power-control technology provides higher performance," according to the firm.

The NJU20010 operates at a frequency of 62.5MHz. It consists of a hybrid type 16bit fixed-point DSP core, dubbed the Ximo16A, which combines the advantages of a DSP, microcontroller, and a high-speed ADC.

The DSP core is a 6-stage order pipeline and a Harvard architecture bus. The data converter supports 12bit resolution and 2MSps. Operating voltages are 3.3V and 1.8V. Production is due this month.

NJR also recently rolled out the NJU26060V, an audio DSP with a PWM modulator suitable for signal processing of speaker systems. The NJU26060V is a 24bit fixed-point DSP for audio, consisting of a 3-input 1-output selector, a sampling rate converter, a 24bit DSP core, a PWM modulator, memory and a digital interface transmitter.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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