Data modem IC addresses M2M communications

A data modem IC from Silicon Laboratories aims to address the need for voice and M2M communications for security and home automation systems, smart utility meters, set-top boxes, point-of-sale terminals and other electronics systems that connect to the PSTN.

The Si24xx ISO modem provides voice features, lower power, reduced BoM and flexible interface options for a wide range of data modem applications.

Its voice feature set is claimed to be more comprehensive with better performance and audio fidelity than legacy data modems. When combined with the company’s Si3000 voice codec, the data modems support handset, speakerphone (full or half-duplex), voice menu and answering machine implementations.

Developers can add telephony and voice functions to any embedded system, without the need for the dedicated voice processing ICs or host-based DSP software required by legacy approaches. The voice-capable Si24xx ICs are for any system with telephony functions ranging from PoS terminals and security systems to video phones and medical monitoring equipment.

In addition to offering a complete suite of ITU-T V-dot data communications, compression and error correction protocols, the ISO modem family supports specialised protocols used in security and PoS applications. Standard DTMF generation and detection and user-programmable tone detection and generation give the family the flexibility to support non-standard custom protocols through host software.

Operating from a single 3.3V power supply, the chipsets draw very little power – 56mW in normal operation (on-hook, idle). Sleep and wake-on-ring modes are available to reduce power consumption to 0.3 and 15mW, respectively. This capability allows a system to appear to be always on while consuming very little power and still responding to events on the telephone line.

The ICs come in a 5 by 7mm QFN package. Developers can use a small, low-cost 32kHz watch crystal instead of the larger, more expensive crystal typically used in embedded modems. The devices also have the option of using a serial peripheral interface (SPI) in addition to uart and parallel interfaces, enabling resource sharing among multiple peripherals.

“As the inventor of the leading silicon DAA architecture, Silicon Labs continues to invest in embedded modem technology to help our customers reduce power, component count and system cost,” said Carlos Garcia, vice president of Silicon Labs’ wireline products.

“Our next-generation Si24xx ISO modem family gives developers the utmost in flexibility, reliability, surge protection and advanced voice features for telephony applications.”

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