Exar have announced the 5 mm square SP335 transceiver chip which supports RS-232, RS-485 and RS-422 serial standards. It is a single chip solution between the serial comms port and the UART or MCU allowing system designers to cater for multiple serial protocols over the same connector. The transceiver’s programmable end-of-line termination and multiple configuration modes allow all three protocols to be used interchangeably over the same cabling and connector without the need for additional switching components.
Built in protection tolerates direct shorts to DC or AC voltages as high as ±18 V and severe ESD events. The chip features a separate supply voltage for the logic interface pins, which can be as low as 1.65 V. This allows direct interface with low voltage UARTs and MCUs without the need for level shifters. It also supports data rates up to 20 Mb/s in RS-485/422 modes and 1 Mb/s in RS-232 mode and can be slew limited to 250 kb/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 to 5.5 V) using just four external capacitors.
The SP335 is available now in a 32-pin QFN package at a suggested unit price of $4.35 for orders of 1,000 units.