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 user 2004-01-06 at 9:20:00 am Views: 92
  • #4465

    Agere Systems Develops Industry’s First Single-Chip Controller Enabling Low-Cost Inkjet Consumer Fax Machines

    – System-on-a-Chip Integrates Multiple Controllers and Memory Components

    to Reduce Electronics Costs By 30-50 Percent for Inkjet Fax Machines

    ALLENTOWN, Pa. Agere Systems (NYSE: AGR.A, AGR.B) today announced the industry’s first single-chip controller for inkjet and thermal fax applications. This multi-processor system-on-a-chip (SoC) combines as many as eight separate electronics components, offering exceptional image quality, print features and cost savings. Agere’s controller supports existing thermal fax designs while also enabling the industry’s transition to monochrome inkjet fax solutions for consumer and small office applications.

    In addition, Agere is collaborating with Lexmark, a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of printing products, to provide this controller along with Lexmark’s inkjet print engines as a high-performance package for developing new inkjet fax designs.

    Today’s inkjet fax machines use as many as three printed circuit board assemblies to manage a variety of printing, processing and communications tasks. Agere’s PI-301 SoC enhances the superior image quality of inkjet solutions while combining multiple discrete controller, memory and modem functions. This integration enables all required electronics to fit on a single board, reducing overall electronics costs by 30 to 50 percent when compared to existing inkjet fax designs. As the market for inkjet-based fax machines expands, this chip can help drive compact, low-cost fax designs while maintaining support for established thermal fax solutions. “Inkjet fax machines offer a compelling mix of outstanding image quality and ease-of-use, and Agere can help drive the growth in consumer inkjet solutions by providing manufacturers with integrated electronics as well as advanced image and print processing,” said Jack Keller, Imaging & Printing product line director at Agere Systems.

    Agere’s PI-301 SoC manages image acquisition and processing, print mechanics — including scan control, print engine control, cartridge movement, ink firing, and paper feed and positioning – as well as fax modem functionality and advanced display features. The chip combines three discrete controllers typically found in inkjet fax machines, significantly reducing the amount of components, cable interconnects, and board space required. The PI- 301 also allows for consolidation of all external memory requirements into a single FLASH memory. This solution leverages Agere’s expertise in modem and DSP technology, chip-level integration and system architectures. The PI-301 is a dual-processor solution, integrating an Agere-developed DSP for modem signal processing, and an ARM9 processor. The ARM9 provides a cost- effective, flexible image-processing pipeline. The solution’s firmware enables image enhancements for improving quality in both text and graphics, and leaves headroom for adding such features as color displays or Internet capabilities. The PI-301 I/O functions are programmable, giving manufacturers the flexibility of configuring I/O to support different print mechanisms and inkjet cartridge systems. These design elements allow fax developers to easily add features and customize their products. Agere’s PI-301 SoC is an application-specific standard product, making it easily adaptable to multiple inkjet and thermal print engines. Engineering samples of Agere’s PI-301 chip are expected to be available in first calendar quarter 2004, with volume production beginning in second calendar quarter. Unit pricing for the chip will be under $10 in sample quantities.

    For more information, customers may visit Agere’s Web site at http://www.agere.com or contact one of Agere’s regional sales offices. Customers in the U.S. may also call the Agere Systems Customer Response Center at 1-800-372-2447. Customers in Canada may call 1-800-553-2448. Customers outside those countries may call 1-610-712-4323. Fax inquiries may be directed to 1-610-712-4106, or e-mail queries to docmaster@agere.com. Written inquiries should be sent to Agere Systems, Room 10A-301C, 1110 American Parkway NE, Lehigh Valley Central Campus, Allentown, PA, 18109, USA. Agere Systems is a premier provider of advanced integrated circuit solutions for wireless data, high-density storage and multiservice networking applications. Agere’s wireless data portfolio enables seamless network access and Internet connectivity through its GPRS offering for data-capable cellular phones, as well as Wi-Fi/802.11 solutions for wireless LANs and computing applications. The company is the market leader in providing integrated circuits for the hard disk drive market, with number one positions in sales of system-on-a-chip solutions and preamplifiers. Agere also provides custom and standard multiservice networking solutions to move information across wired, wireless and enterprise networks. Agere’s customers include the leading PC manufacturers, wireless terminal providers, network equipment suppliers and hard-disk drive providers. More information about Agere Systems is available from its web site at http://www.agere.com.

    Agere is a registered trademark and Agere Systems and the Agere Systems logo are trademarks of Agere Systems Inc.

    This release contains forward-looking statements based on information available to Agere as of the date hereof. Agere’s actual results could differ materially from the results stated or implied by such forward-looking statements due to a number of risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the impact of any global or regional health epidemic, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, keeping pace with technological change, dependence on new product development, price and product competition, availability of manufacturing capacity, customer demand for our products and services, general industry and market conditions, limits on our ability to issue equity to raise capital and reliance on major customers and suppliers. For a further discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, see our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2003. Agere disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise