AGERE SYSTEMS DELIVERS INDUSTRY'S LOWEST POWER 90-NANOMETER READ CHANNEL FOR HIGH-VOLUME PC- AND CONSUMER ELECTRONICS-BASED DISK DRIVES
TrueStore™ channel provides best-in-class signal processing performance with up to 50 percent power savings over competing solutions
Industry-leading perpendicular recording support enables drive capacities exceeding 240 gigabytes (GB) per platter
Using TrueStore, invest in design once, apply to multiple high-volume markets
ALLENTOWN, Pa.Agere Systems today announced the industry's lowest power storage read channel for PCs and consumer electronics. This latest Agere offering provides up to a 50 percent power reduction over competing solutions enabling hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturers to use a single, high-performance design to develop drives for the largest volume storage applications.
This 90-nanometer (nm) read channel targets 2.5- and 3.5-inch HDD applications in desktop and notebook PCs, consumer electronics, and enterprise applications such as blade servers. Agere storage chips can be found in a variety of end products. These include 40-160 GB HDDs in desktop and notebook PCs, 20-40 GB drives in game consoles, 40-160 GB drives in digital video recorders and 4-8 GB personal storage devices.
HDD drives provide the critical storage element in each of these applications for market leaders such as Dell and HP in personal computers; Microsoft Xbox' video game systems; TiVo, Scientific Atlanta and EchoStar in DVR/cable/satellite set top boxes; and Seagate and Cornice in personal storage products. Having a range of HDD capacities enables different price points and user experiences. Low power consumption is critical to achieving the aggressive power budgets of each of these product categories.
"We are focused on enabling our customers to deliver compelling disk drive products while minimizing their required development investments," said Ruediger Stroh, Executive Vice president of Agere's Storage Division. "Agere's new read channel gives drive manufacturers a single silicon design to develop drives that address over 80 percent of the total storage market, supporting any computing or consumer electronics application."
HDD manufacturers have relied on Agere to consistently deliver solutions for more than a decade while accommodating rapidly changing market, technology and form factor needs. The industry is yet again facing many challenges as the demands of PC, consumer and enterprise applications accelerate and these markets converge.
In computing, laptops are increasingly used as desktop PC replacements in the home and office, requiring drives that deliver improved battery life while maintaining the storage performance and capacities expected of traditional desktops. In consumer electronics, drives are being pushed to accommodate longer product life cycles in the home while still providing the storage reliability users demand for their digital content. In enterprise, inexpensive serial-based drives are being employed for corporate web and email servers, as well as for home networking applications.
To meet these numerous and diverse challenges, HDD manufacturers want solutions that offer the best combinations of power and performance across multiple storage segments. Developed in cutting-edge 90-nm CMOS process technology, Agere's new TrueStore RC7200 delivers market-leading perpendicular recording support to expand the amount of storage capacity in a drive to 240 GB/platter. With the RC7200, consumers get the benefit of longer battery life in their mobile devices and more space to store their digital photos, movies, music and other multimedia. In addition, this channel supports enterprise applications such as server blades or near-line disk-to-disk backup for home or office.
Low-Power, High-Performance Channel Designs
A read channel encodes and decodes data, and is the essential electronics for ensuring the accuracy of all the data read from or written to a disk drive. Read channels are the centerpiece of custom storage systems-on-a-chip (SoCs), which combine multiple drive functions – including hard disk controller, serial interface and memory – in a single chip.
The RC7200 offers several key benefits:
* Improved performance and perpendicular recording support: The RC7200 offers outstanding signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) performance for increasing areal densities to next-generation capacity nodes of 240 GB/platter and more. As drive designs continue to transition to perpendicular recording techniques to improve storage capacities, Agere's channel offers up to a 0.5-dB SNR advantage over competing silicon, translating to nearly 10 percent more capacity or higher yields at equivalent capacities. A broad dynamic range of clock speeds (100 MHz to 2.0 GHz data rates) enables scaling SoC power and performance to support multiple HDD market segments.
* Power reduction: The RC7200 lowers chip-level power consumption while improving overall system power management by leveraging 90-nm CMOS process technologies, voltage scaling, multiple power modes and other circuit design techniques. In addition, the channel can accommodate power-optimized 2.5 volt analog/1.0 volt digital drive configurations while also supporting 3.3/1.2 volt legacy designs, giving disk drive designers increased flexibility with a single electronics platform.
Agere is currently shipping fully functional RC7200 silicon samples to drive customers, enabling them to rapidly develop read-write subsystems and firmware for next-generation programs. Pricing for SoC designs incorporating this channel technology ranges from US$8-10 in sample quantities.