Zarlink Semiconductor Launches High Performance, High Reliability DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) Access Processors

OTTAWA, CANADA, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Zarlink Semiconductor (NYSE/TSX:ZL) today launched three highly reliable IMA processing chips that achieve data throughput of 10 Mb/s (megabits per second) - the industry's highest serial DSL rate. Zarlink's new IMA chips cost-effectively support an extensive range of DSL services by combining industry-leading ATM-to-TDM (time- division multiplex) throughput rates with flexible, per-port bandwidth provisioning options.

Designers are demanding multi-rate, versatile IMAs that can reliably process DSL traffic over ATM networks, while supporting the wide array of service rates, tariff options, and access aggregation requirements in global DSL markets. With Zarlink's 4-port ZL(TM)30226, 8-port ZL30227, and 16-port ZL30228 IMA devices, designers can scale data rates on DSL subscriber links to individual service requirements, reaching 10 Mb/s. Different port groupings and density requirements can be supported by linking up to six IMAs across a TDM ring.

Meeting global standards

Zarlink's IMA technology recently passed rigorous IMA assurance tests at the InterOperability Lab of the University of New Hampshire's Research Computing Center, a world-class, independent ATM test facility. Zarlink also worked with two leading DSL chip vendors to ensure its new IMA devices interoperate with G.SHDSL transceivers. G.SHDSL, which stands for G.991.2 Single-pair, High bit-rate DSL, is the ITU-T's (International Telecommunication Union-Telecommunications) global standard for high-speed DSL.

Customers are now evaluating Zarlink's IMAs for use in multi-service access platforms, access multiplexers, digital loop carriers, and integrated access devices.

"High-speed Internet access - which is based on DSL technology - is a strong international growth market," said Horace Lam, product line marketing manager, Zarlink Semiconductor. "However, at least six DSL standards are currently in use. Our multi-rate IMAs give designers the flexibility they need to build global DSL equipment for the different standards, services, and tariff rates used in a variety of markets."

New IMAs for DSL combine high throughput, flexibility, and reliability

Zarlink's new ZL30226/7/8 IMA chips perform two-way protocol conversions between cell-based ATM networks and serial TDM data streams over DSL subscriber links. Each on-chip TDM port supports data rates of up to 2.5 Mb/s, and a unique port aggregation feature enables serial data throughputs of up to 10 Mb/s over a single link.

The ZL30226/7/8 also offer flexible support for a broad range of port density and IMA grouping requirements. The IMAs are pin-to-pin compatible, allowing designers to use the same DSL line card architecture to address different density requirements with simple device change-outs. A TDM ring interconnect allows up to six of the devices to operate as one, enabling the configuration of IMA groups from ports on multiple devices. On a per-chip basis, the 4-port ZL30226 supports up to four IMA groups, while the 8-port ZL30227 and 16-port ZL30228 support up to eight IMA groups.

The ports on the ZL30226/7/8 chips can also be individually configured for lower-layer ATM-to-TDM/TDM-to-ATM TC (transmission convergence) applications.

The University of New Hampshire's InterOperability Lab evaluated the core technology in Zarlink's IMA chips in different end-to-end configurations while interconnected to ATM switches from three leading vendors. The IMA circuitry was put through 23 separate quality assurance tests, verifying its compliance with the ATM Forum's IMA 1.1 standard. Zarlink's IMA chips also comply with the ATM Forum's IMA 1.0 and UNI specifications.

Availability, packaging, and pricing

Zarlink's new IMA chips are now in volume production. In quantities of 1K, the ZL30226 is priced at US$48.00, the ZL30227 at US$64.00, and the ZL30228 at US$87.00. The devices are offered in pin-to-pin compatible, 384- ball PBGA (plastic ball grid array) packages and supported by DSL reference designs and software. For more information please visit, and

About Zarlink Semiconductor

Zarlink employs its formidable analog, digital and mixed-signal capabilities to offer the most compelling products for wired, wireless and optical connectivity markets and ultra low-power medical applications. For more information, visit

Certain statements in this press release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks, uncertainties and assumptions include, among others, the risks discussed in documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Investors are encouraged to consider the risks detailed in those filings.

A high-resolution photograph suitable for publication is available at

Zarlink, ZL, and the Zarlink Semiconductor logo are trademarks of Zarlink Semiconductor Inc.

Source: Zarlink Semiconductor

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