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Rockwell Is First to Put 56Kbps Modem and LAN Controller Onto Single Device For CardBus and PCI Peripherals; Integration Breakthrough Puts a K56flex Modem and 10/100 Fast Ethernet Controller Into a Single Compact Semiconductor Device.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 10, 1997--Rockwell Semiconductor Systems Monday announced it has expanded its K56flex modem chipset family with the introduction of the industry's first solution to combine a LAN controller and 56Kbps modem on a single device targeting high-performance CardBus and PCI peripherals.

Rockwell will be demonstrating its K56flex LAN-and-modem solution at COMDEX, Nov. 17-21, at Booth No. S2633 in the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Rockwell's LAN-and-modem device is a highly integrated offering that makes it significantly easier for manufacturers with strict product size limitations to develop a single compact unit that contains both a K56flex modem and a 10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet controller. Additionally, Rockwell is the first to offer the option of a more affordable, host-controller modem configuration in addition to the more flexible controller-based version. The reduced memory and power-consumption requirements of host-controlled modem operation make it an ideal solution for mobile computers.

"LAN connectivity is a natural extension of Rockwell's core competencies in communications and mixed-signal semiconductor technology," said Raouf Halim, vice president and general manager of Rockwell's Network Access Division. "The combination of K56flex with a LAN controller into a single compact device represents both an integration breakthrough for our customers and a springboard for Rockwell into new market areas. This product represents Rockwell's ongoing progress as we integrate greater levels of networking communications functionality onto ever-smaller pieces of silicon."

The majority of LAN-and-modem solutions are only available in two-card solutions, single-card PC Card solutions or, more recently, single-card CardBus products. Two-card solutions are less convenient for portable computer users and are not an option for single-slot ultra-compact portables. Single-card PC Card products suffer from the limited performance of the 16-bit PCMCIA bus.

"Providing both Fast Ethernet and K56flex modem technology in a single device is a significant breakthrough," said Andy Mills, director of LAN products for Rockwell's Network Access Division. "Additionally, Rockwell's goal with this product family was to support the trend to host-controlled modem solutions while providing the highest degree of design flexibility for our customers."

Rockwell's combination LAN-and-modem offerings include the RS7311, which requires only an external 10/100Mbps PHY chip and memory to create a complete LAN-and-modem solution, and the RS7310, which cuts memory and power requirements for the most power-efficient solution possible. Rockwell's RS7111 LAN Media Access Controller (MAC) allows CardBus manufacturers for the first time to configure their CardBus LAN-and-modem peripherals either for controller-based or host-controlled modem operation.

Other features of the LAN-and-modem family include a "wake-on-ring" feature that allows the device to be activated remotely by a modem operation, and support for AMD's MAGICPACKET technology, which enables remote activation by a LAN operation. The Rockwell LAN-and-modem family is also compliant with Microsoft's OnNow and PC-97 specifications to enable further power-conservation capabilities.

CardBus peripherals are becoming increasingly popular for bringing 32-bit networking performance to mobile computers. A variation of the PCMCIA standard, CardBus allows mobile computer users to leverage the increased bandwidth offered by 100Mbps Fast Ethernet networks. Additionally, bus-mastering capabilities similar to those used on the high-performance PCI bus enable data to be transmitted by a CardBus adapter without significantly impacting overall system performance.

Rockwell's LAN-and-modem family will be available in sample quantities in December, and volume production is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 1998. Pricing begins at $68 per unit for the RS7311 in OEM quantities.

For more information on Rockwell products, contact the Rockwell Literature Line at 800/854-8099 inside the U.S., at 714/221-6996 outside the U.S., or visit the Rockwell Web site at . -0-

NOTE: Rockwell Semiconductor Systems and Electronic Commerce, based in Newport Beach, is a leading worldwide provider of semiconductor system solutions for personal communications electronics and systems, software and services for the global call center industry. Rockwell Semiconductor Systems comprises five divisions -- Personal Computing, Network Access, Personal Imaging, Wireless Communications, and Digital Infotainment.

Personal Computing is a leading supplier of communications and media processing products for the PC. Network Access offers a broad line of high-bandwidth communications and networking devices including central site modems, xDSL, LAN, ATM and T1/E1 transceiver products.

Digital Infotainment focuses on products for the digital consumer electronics information and entertainment markets.

Personal Imaging is the world leading supplier of devices for facsimile products and develops and manufactures semiconductors for multifunctional peripherals, printers, personal video and digital imaging products. Wireless Communications develops cordless and cellular chipsets, GPS, power amplifier and front end receiver components for all major wireless standards. The Electronic Commerce Division, based in Wood Dale, Ill., is a leading supplier of call center systems and personalized electronic commerce applications software.

Rockwell is a global electronics company with leadership positions in industrial automation, semiconductor systems, and avionics and communications, with FY97 sales of approximately $8 billion and 45,000 employees. Rockwell's world headquarters is located in Costa Mesa, in Orange County, Calif.

CONTACT: Rockwell Semiconductor Systems

Eileen Algaze, 714/221-6849


The Benjamin Group Inc.

Carolyn Fromm or Lisa Thielmann


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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 10, 1997
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