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Wireless USB system-in-a-package includes development kit

San Diego, Calif—Wireless USB is taking off, and vendors are now supplying OEMs with ICs and tools for implementation. Fabless semiconductor company Staccato Communications , for one, is debuting development kits and reference design kits for developers of Certified Wireless USB (Universal Serial Bus) HWA (host wire adapter) and DWA (device wire adapter) designs. The kits support the company’s latest WUSB silicon.

Staccato's wares include its SC3111D development kit, priced at about $25,000. It includes two transceiver platforms for Certified Wireless USB. It also contains related software, firmware, and components.

Staccato also offers some reference design kits, but hasn't established pricing for them. These include a SC3221R External Host Wire Adapter , a SC3222R MiniCard Host Wire Adapter , and a SC3223R Internal Device Wire Adapter board (shown below).

External HWA

The SC3221R, for example, is a small external HWA, similar in size to a USB flash drive. The in-form-factor board measures 16 x 50-mm (0.64 x 2-in.), and includes the plastics for its enclosure.

It plugs into any USB 2.0 port in a PC, and is enabled with an HWA driver. It’s a low cost design using a single-chip (described in a moment). The SC3221R implements a UWB (ultra-wideband) antenna, flash, LED s, and regulators to operate directly off USB bus power.

Additional reference designs can be supplied for the combination of 2.4-GHz Bluetooth with Certified Wireless USB. Such a combo is possible on a single MiniCard as well as a USB plug-in dongle.

The company's goal is to offer a single chip that does it all. As such, Staccato’s Ripcord SC3500P product family comprise single-chip approaches for Certified Wireless USB.

Staccato Communications’s single-chip devices, implemented in standard CMOS, encompass RF and digital baseband PHY (physical layer) circuits, as well as MAC (media access controller), memory, processor, encryption engine, and I/O blocks. The comms blocks support USB 2.0 Host, USB 2.0 Device , and SDIO 1.1 Device (Secure Digital IO).

System-In-A-Package

To reduce risk, time-to-market and to simplify design-in, Staccato Communications's single-chip uses a LTCC -substrate ceramic package, and is provided to you in a SiP (system-in-package).

Included in the SiP is the system's CMOS die, RF matching network, bandpass filter, T/R (Transmit-receive) switch, all passive components, and an oscillator crystal. Treated as a component, you can implement it without much RF expertise.

Typically, the additional components needed to complete an OEM system consist of voltage regulators and an external antenna.

Soup To Nuts

Staccato also provides all necessary firmware and software in its reference design kits. You also get working hardware samples, schematics, and Gerber layout files for boards.

The kits also include BOM s (bill-of-materials), design guides, production test guides, firmware object code, HWA and DWA Windows XP drivers and utilities, and sample end-user manuals.

Partner Program

Staccato also offers what it calls its Team Staccato Partner Program . It’s sort of an electronics ecosystem that supports design-in of the company's products, including RF and protocol test equipment, additional software drivers from third-party vendors, and UWB filter and antenna components from other manufacturers.

For example, the SC3111D development kit helps development of Certified Wireless USB HWA and DWAs, and native Certified Wireless USB. Because Staccato's chip implements the WiMedia MAC, development is extensible to support WiMedia's WiNet for peer-to-peer connectivity, and Bluetooth 3.0 .

In addition to hardware, this kit includes eight antennas from seven Team Staccato Partner Program participants, as well as diagnostic tools, a MAC monitor, link management tools, a traffic generator, sample code, and the company's Ripcord Control Panel Software .

You also get two platform boards, pre-programmed data flash cards, the Ripcord Control Panel Software Suite, cables and power supplies, and docs.

Design Wins

Staccato Communications already has three design-wins for its Ripcord SC3500P single-chip CMOS devices. AboCom, Cellink , and Cameo Communications are designing-in Staccato’s devices for PC dongle and hub products. What’s more, AboCom is developing an ExpressCard product based on the Staccato chip.

Staccato Communications says a next-generation development kit is in the works, and will be released in the third quarter of this year at a substantially
lower price.

Click here for additional development kit and SiP info.

For more details contact Staccato Communications, 6195 Lusk Blvd., Suite 200, San Diego, Calif. 92121. Phone: 858-812-1000. Fax: 858-812-1001. E-mail: sales@staccatocommunications.com.

Staccato Communications , 858-812-1000, www.staccatocommunications.com

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