Sunday, August 2, 2009

Infineon Debuts Energy Efficient Gigabit PHY

Infineon Technologies introduced a Gigabit Ethernet Physical Layer (PHY) integrated circuit (IC) designed to improve energy efficiency. The new IC targets all major broadband applications, including xDSL and PON Routers in home gateway solutions, IP phones, PC motherboards, and consumer applications like IP-TVs, IP set-top boxes, game consoles and printers.

Infineon said its XWAY PHY11G is the first IC on the market to implement the Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) guidelines, which are based on the upcoming IEEE 802.3az standard. The Infineon PHY reduces its energy use by up to 90 percent (50 mW instead of 500 mW) during periods of idle, when there is no data traffic over the Ethernet link. Typical Gigabit PHY ICs now in the market do not have this low power mode. When operating under full load, the Infineon solution consumes at least 25 percent less energy compared to existing solutions, spending less than 400mW in total.

According to market studies, typical households have their home networks turned on 24/7, whereas the actual usage is less than one percent. With EEE implemented, devices enter low power mode when no data is sent.

"Support for Energy Efficient Ethernet is the most important feature of the XWAY PHY11G, since it will help our customers deliver value in terms of actual energy savings for purchasers of home network gear. For example, if the 150 million PHYs in home networks today were replaced by our Infineon solution, it would save 500 Gigawatt-Hours a year, which is equivalent to the yearly capacity of a coal-burning power plant," said Christian Wolff, President of the Wireline Communications Division at Infineon Technologies.

Infineon also offers the XWAY PHY22F, a dual-port Fast Ethernet PHY with the same EEE features.

Samples of the XWAY PHY11G and XWAY PHY22F will be available in Q4 2009 with volume production expected to start in Q1 of 2010.

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