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December 11, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 5:02pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Zilog Inc has moved into the Universal Serial Bus controller market, launching its Z8E520 and Z86U18 offerings. The controllers, scaled down microprocessors with code stored on the ROM, are designed to manage basic functions in peripherals such as mice and keyboards, and relay data to and from the central processing unit via the USB connection. The company says the Z86U18, designed specifically for keyboard and gamepad products, is optimized for the new range of multimedia keyboards with functions like volume control and web address short cut buttons. It’s also boasting lower power consumption and more efficient memory use than rival offerings. Mike McCullough, Director of peripherals at Zilog says most of the companies in the USB controller market are smaller players, claiming many of the existing products do not conform to ESD, Electrostatic Discharge, and EMI, ElectroMagnetic Interference guidelines. McCullough claims such devices require more extensive circuits and additional capacitors on the board itself, inflating production costs. However McCullough also concedes Motorola Inc already has similar offerings on the market. Zilog’s customers are the main keyboard and mouse makers such as Logitech Inc and Microsoft Corp. The Z8E520 costs $2.50 for OEM quantities of 5,000, with the Z86U18 costing $1.45 for 5,000 units.

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