SMSC Vice President of Engineering to Address USB 3.0 Physical Layer Challenges at 2009 ISSCC

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—February 11, 2009— SMSC (NASDAQ: SMSC) today announced that Dr. Michael Pennell, Vice President of Engineering for High-speed Transceiver Development, will address silicon design challenges posed by the new USB 3.0 specification at the 2009 International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco at 10:00 AM on Thursday, February 12, 2009.

During his ISSCC forum presentation, Dr. Pennell will focus on new physical layer (PHY) characteristics and challenges inherent in USB 3.0, including power management, clocking, cable and connector, signaling, transmit and receive equalization and compliance testing. The presentation will also examine the legacy USB PHY layer, which has a number of technical challenges when implementing the specification on leading sub-micron process nodes.

“The higher speed and complexity of USB 3.0 increases the difficulty of achieving optimum performance in silicon,” said Dr. Pennell. “SMSC is a leader in USB connectivity electronics, and is heavily invested in the smooth implementation of USB 3.0 into silicon. This ISSCC presentation will share some of the challenges SMSC has identified and highlight solutions hardware designers can employ as they begin to design the physical layer for this new, faster interconnect technology.”

USB 3.0, also known as SuperSpeed USB, increases the bandwidth of USB connectivity up to 5Gb/s, while still providing a backward-compatible path for legacy systems and devices. This “sync-and-go” technology is becoming increasingly important as high-definition digital content becomes more prevalent in storage, video and multimedia electronics applications. SuperSpeed USB targets data transfer rates up to 10 times faster than Hi-Speed USB 2.0, which greatly improves end users’ experience with transferring large files between devices.

With a focus on performance, programmability and integration, SMSC plans to build upon its leadership position in USB by delivering SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connectivity to digital TVs, printers, monitors, PCs, gaming consoles, digital still and video cameras, smart phones and other embedded and consumer applications.

In January 2009, SMSC announced its intent to support this new standard, shortly after the final USB 3.0 specification was announced in November 2008. USB technology was first implemented in 1998; since that time, billions of USB-enabled devices have been sold. For more information on SMSC’s support for USB 3.0, please visit:


The International Solid-State Circuits Conference is the foremost forum for presentation of advances in solid-state circuits and systems-on-a-chip. The Conference offers a unique opportunity for engineers working at the cutting edge of IC design and use to maintain technical currency, and to network with leading experts. The conference runs February 9-12, 2009, in San Francisco. For more information, visit

About the Speaker:

Dr. Michael Pennell received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D degrees in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University. Dr. Pennell worked at Motorola Inc. in positions ranging from test engineer to mixed-signal design engineer concentrating on high speed data communications, disk drive read/write channels, and oversampled data converters. In addition, he worked at Intel Corp. as a design leader for USB 2.0 physical layer (PHY) development. During this time, he contributed to the USB 2.0 electrical specification. He left Intel to work at Gain Technology Corporation, a startup in Phoenix, AZ, which was later acquired by SMSC in 2002. At SMSC, Dr. Pennell is responsible for PHY technology for USB and Ethernet products as well as design automation strategies and infrastructure.

About SMSC:

Many of the world’s most successful global technology companies rely upon SMSC as a go-to resource for semiconductor system solutions that span analog, digital and mixed-signal technologies. Leveraging substantial intellectual property, integration expertise and a comprehensive global infrastructure, SMSC solves design challenges and delivers performance, space, cost and time-to-market advantages to its customers. SMSC’s application focus targets key vertical markets including consumer electronics, automotive infotainment, PC and industrial applications. The Company has developed leadership positions in its select markets by providing application specific solutions such as mixed-signal embedded controllers, non-PCI Ethernet, ARCNET, MOST® and Hi-Speed USB.

SMSC is headquartered in Hauppauge, New York with operations in North America, Asia and Europe. Engineering design centers are located in Arizona, New York, Texas and Karlsruhe, Germany. Additional information is available at

Forward Looking Statements:

Except for historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this announcement are forward-looking statements about expected future events and financial and operating results that involve risks and uncertainties. These uncertainties may cause our actual future results to be materially different from those discussed in forward-looking statements. Our risks and uncertainties include the timely development and market acceptance of new products; the impact of competitive products and pricing; our ability to procure capacity from our suppliers and the timely performance of their obligations, the effects of changing economic conditions domestically and internationally and on our customers; our relationships with and dependence on customers and growth rates in the personal computer, consumer electronics and embedded and automotive markets and within our sales channel; changes in customer order patterns, including order cancellations or reduced bookings; the effects of tariff, import and currency regulation; potential or actual litigation; and excess or obsolete inventory and variations in inventory valuation, among others. In addition, SMSC competes in the semiconductor industry, which has historically been characterized by intense competition, rapid technological change, cyclical market patterns, price erosion and periods of mismatched supply and demand.

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