Communications

5x5mm transceiver supports RS-232, RS-485 and RS-422

10th February 2014
Steve Regnier

Supporting RS-232, RS-485 and RS-422 serial standards, the SP335 advanced multiprotocol transceiver has been announced by Exar. The rugged devices are suitable for use in software programmable serial ports for industrial PCs and single board computers, process control, point-of-sale, embedded systems, HVAC controls, building automation networking and security systems.

Measuring just 5x5mm, the SP335 is less than half the size of a comparable discrete design. This enables it to effectively double the number of serial interface channels that can be assembled in the same board space, allowing system designers to easily combine multiple serial protocols over the same connector. Without requiring additional switching components, all three protocols can be used interchangeably over a single cable or connector thanks to the transceiver's programmable end-of-line termination and multiple configuration modes.

Tolerating direct shorts to DC or AC voltages as high as ±18V, the SP335’s bus pins are protected against severe ESD events exceeding ±15kV IEC 61000-4-2 Air Gap Discharge, and ±8kV IEC 61000-4-2 Contact Discharge. The multiprotocol transceiver also features a separate supply voltage for the logic interface pins, which can be as low as 1.65V. This enables it to directly interface with low voltage UARTs and MCUs without voltage translators or level shifters.

Supporting data rates up to 20Mb/s in RS-485/422 modes and 1Mb/s in RS-232 mode, the SP335 can be slew limited to 250kb/s toggling a single control pin. With no inductors or magnetic components, the on-board charge pump generates the RS-232 bipolar voltage levels from a single supply (3.0-5.5V) with only four external capacitors.

Jack Roan, Product Marketing Manager, Exar, comments: “Electronic systems are constantly being redesigned to be smaller, cheaper, and faster. Integrating multiple serial protocols with ancillary functions like end-of-line termination control and logic voltage level shifters enables our customers to create more cost effective and flexible serial controllers that are easily reconfigured in the field.”

Available now in a 5x5mm 32-pin QFN package, the suggested retail price for the SP335 in 1,000 unit quantities is $4.35 (USD).

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