NXP Unveils "Agile I/O" With I2C

EINDHOVEN, THE NETHERLANDS and SAN JOSE, CA -- (Marketwire) -- Oct 17, 2012 -- NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) today announced a new family of 8-bit and 16-bit GPIO devices featuring " Agile I/O" -- an innovative option integrating the most commonly needed functions in embedded systems. The GPIOs expand the two wires of the I2C-bus into 8 or 16 general-purpose I/O pins that can interface to keyboards, switches, LEDs, displays, or even stepping motors, saving valuable pins on the microprocessor or custom ASIC. The Agile I/O GPIO expanders further reduce the bill of materials (BoM) by eliminating external components and minimizing the PCB space required, and simplify firmware development by capturing real-time events and eliminating software latencies, thus improving reliability.

The 16 new devices include eight industry-standard I2C GPIO expanders, as well as eight devices with additional Agile I/O functions. Providing a wide voltage range including level-shifting capabilities and support for voltages as low as 1.65V, the new GPIO expanders offer significant cost savings as replacements for existing 2.3 to 5.5V GPIO devices. With the same pin-out and register sets as industry-standard PCA95xx devices, the new GPIOs can also easily be interchanged in the same sockets, even in mid-cycle refresh.

"From consumer devices to industrial equipment, embedded systems today are run by increasingly complex microprocessors and ASICs. Adding more input/output pins to interface with the user and other ICs, however, translates to bigger and more expensive packages. A more elegant, cost-effective solution is to make the most of the I2C-bus with its two pins, and adding any number of Agile I/O GPIO expanders to handle interface duties and reduce the number of external components required," said Steve Blozis, international product marketing manager, interface products, NXP Semiconductors. "By working to 1.65V and supporting a wider voltage range, our latest generation of GPIO devices also addresses the industry shift toward lower voltage applications."

Unique "Agile I/O" Features
Incorporating many highly useful functions commonly added in system applications, the new I2C Agile I/O expanders offer the following standard integrated hardware features:


  • An interrupt pin that reports back to the control processor when an input has changed state
  • A hardware reset pin to return the device to its default state without powering down the part
  • Two power-supply pins to enable simple level-shifting between different voltage domains

In addition, the Agile I/O includes important software-programmable features, including:


  • An input latch to retain the input state
  • Internal pull-up and pull-down resistors
  • An interrupt mask which reduces interrupt traffic to the microcontroller and improves interrupt service response
  • Interrupt register reports to identify which input actually caused an interrupt
  • An output drive strength control to minimize system noise when multiple outputs switch simultaneously

Flexibility, Choice and Availability
The extensive selection of device options and packages allows system designers to select the right device for their designs at the optimum price point. The new GPIO expanders will be offered in TSSOP, as well as 0.5-mm pitch QFN package options, with the first product types available immediately.

The PCA(L)6408AHK is also released in a smaller 0.4-mm pitch QFN and the PCA(L)6416AEV in 0.5-mm pitch BGA. The Agile I/O version of both of these devices will also be released in a 0.4-mm pitch BGA package for the growing thin portable market.



About the I 2 C Bus
Invented by NXP (formerly Philips Semiconductors) over 30 years ago, the I2C-bus has revolutionized chip-to-chip communications by replacing complex parallel interfaces with a straightforward yet powerful serial structure using a simple two-wire format. I2C peripherals are used in general-purpose applications from computing PC systems, servers, telecom, automotive and consumer products including portable devices and smartphones, helping designers to shrink the IC footprint resulting in lower system costs in every corner of the electronics industry.

About NXP Semiconductors
NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) provides High Performance Mixed Signal and Standard Product solutions that leverage its leading RF, Analog, Power Management, Interface, Security and Digital Processing expertise. These innovations are used in a wide range of automotive, identification, wireless infrastructure, lighting, industrial, mobile, consumer and computing applications. A global semiconductor company with operations in more than 25 countries, NXP posted revenue of $4.2 billion in 2011. Additional information can be found by visiting www.nxp.com.

Forward-looking Statements
This document includes forward-looking statements which include statements regarding NXP's business strategy, financial condition, results of operations, and market data, as well as any other statements which are not historical facts. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to numerous factors, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected. These factors, risks and uncertainties include the following: market demand and semiconductor industry conditions; the ability to successfully introduce new technologies and products; the end-market demand for the goods into which NXP's products are incorporated; the ability to generate sufficient cash, raise sufficient capital or refinance corporate debt at or before maturity; the ability to meet the combination of corporate debt service, research and development and capital investment requirements; the ability to accurately estimate demand and match manufacturing production capacity accordingly or obtain supplies from third-party producers; the access to production capacity from third-party outsourcing partners; any events that might affect third-party business partners or NXP's relationship with them; the ability to secure adequate and timely supply of equipment and materials from suppliers; the ability to avoid operational problems and product defects and, if such issues were to arise, to correct them quickly; the ability to form strategic partnerships and joint ventures and to successfully cooperate with alliance partners; the ability to win competitive bid selection processes to develop products for use in customers' equipment and products; the ability to successfully establish a brand identity; the ability to successfully hire and retain key management and senior product architects; and, the ability to maintain good relationships with our suppliers. In addition, this document contains information concerning the semiconductor industry and NXP's business segments generally, which is forward-looking in nature and is based on a variety of assumptions regarding the ways in which the semiconductor industry, NXP's market segments and product areas may develop. NXP has based these assumptions on information currently available, if any one or more of these assumptions turn out to be incorrect, actual market results may differ from those predicted. While NXP does not know what impact any such differences may have on its business, if there are such differences, its future results of operations and its financial condition could be materially adversely affected. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak to results only as of the date the statements were made. Except for any ongoing obligation to disclose material information as required by the United States federal securities laws, NXP does not have any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements after we distribute this document, whether to reflect any future events or circumstances or otherwise. For a discussion of potential risks and uncertainties, please refer to the risk factors listed in our SEC filings. Copies of our SEC filings are available from on our Investor Relations website, www.nxp.com/investor or from the SEC website, www.sec.gov.

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