Symwave Launches World's Most Highly Integrated FireWire-800 Physical Layer Solution

New chip enables robust, 800Mbps data transfer between Apple Mac or Windows PCs and external storage devices

SAN DIEGO, April 7, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Symwave, Inc., a privately-held supplier of high-performance analog/mixed signal semiconductor solutions for the PC, consumer and mobile devices, today announced "FirePHY-800" -- its new 1394b S800 Physical Layer (PHY) device. The device is targeted at high volume consumer applications and is compatible with all popular Operating Systems drivers, including Mac OS X v10.4, OS X v10.5 (Leopard), Microsoft XP/Vista, and Unibrain.

"Symwave's FirePHY-800 will enable a new generation of high speed storage devices that will provide real benefits to consumers," said James Snider, executive director of the 1394 Trade Association. "We are pleased to see Symwave delivering a robust high speed 1394b PHY solution. The exponential growth of multimedia content per user is driving a strong demand for larger and faster external storage devices."

FirePHY-800 is already being designed into a number of consumer devices for FireWire-800 (1394b) such as external storage devices/enclosures, hubs, repeaters and flash readers. It is also an ideal host solution for PC & Mac motherboards, PCI-Express add-in cards and ExpressCards. In addition to PC and storage applications, FirePHY-800 enables a range of other high-speed digital applications where guaranteed bandwidth and/or isochronous (real-time) data delivery is critical. Such applications include industrial automation & control networks, professional audio equipment, uncompressed video editing, industrial cameras, and high definition video surveillance equipment.

"Symwave is delighted to provide a better FireWire-800 solution to our customers," said Jim Kappes, Director of Marketing at Symwave. "The significant advantages of Symwave's PHY technology will enable manufacturers to develop innovative, new products with higher functionality and lower cost than what exists in the market today."

The FirePHY-800 includes three standards-compliant bilingual ports to ensure full compatibility with the latest 1394b devices as well as legacy deployed 1394a devices. Symwave's innovative mixed-signal SERDES design enables the FirePHY-800 to achieve industry-leading performance levels compared to competitive devices in the market. Critical parameters such as signal integrity, data throughput, ESD and EMI performance are significantly improved over competitors' 1394b solutions. The FirePHY-800 utilizes fewer pins, a smaller package, fewer external components, and requires less PCB area than alternative devices, making it the industry's most cost effective 1394b solution.

Compared to USB 2.0 High Speed, the FirePHY-800 interface is typically 2-3 times faster, doesn't require CPU overhead, and supports peer-to-peer networking (also called daisy-chaining) of devices. Compared to eSATA for storage applications, the FirePHY-800 enables up to 45 Watts of power to be carried over the 1394 cable so external hard drives can be powered without an extra power supply. The FirePHY-800 also supports long-haul networking over other cable types such as Category-5 (10/100 Ethernet), coaxial, and plastic optical fiber (PoF).

Symwave, Inc. is sponsoring the 1394 Trade Association's Q2 quarterly meetings, to be held near its flagship design center in Shenzhen, China, April 7-10, 2008. The FirePHY-800 will be demonstrated at the 1394 Product Seminar to be held on April 10th at the Crown Plaza hotel in Shenzhen. For more details, visit the 1394TA website at


The FirePHY-800 is available in a 64-pin 8x8mm QFN package and priced at $3.50.

About Symwave

Symwave is a fabless semiconductor company that designs, develops and markets high-performance analog/mixed-signal integrated circuits and system solutions. Symwave specializes in the design and development of high-speed, standards-based Serial Physical Layer ICs (PHYs) and high-performance, low-power Analog Frond End ICs (AFEs) leveraging its proprietary mixed-signal technology and silicon design capabilities. Symwave?s mission is to become the premier supplier of high-performance, customer-driven mixed-signal silicon and systems solutions to the PC, mobile device and consumer electronics markets. Symwave?s strategy is focused on defining, developing and delivering best-in-class / first-in-class integrated circuit solutions for its customers leveraging Symwave?s world-class analog / mixed-signal IC design team coupled with its broad IP portfolio. Symwave is a privately held company founded in 2001 with headquarters in San Diego, CA, and offices in Southern China, and is backed by several top-tier venture capital firms, including Kodiak Venture Partners and CMEA Ventures. Additional information is available at

About 1394TA

The 1394 Trade Association is a worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement and enhancement of the IEEE 1394 audio video standard. For more information, visit

     1394TA                        Symwave
     Dick Davies                   Kelly Leary
     (415) 652-7515                (858) 450-2840 

Web site:

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