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SATA bridge chip offers 150MBps transfer rate

Posted: 29 Oct 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:atmel? ide pata? ide parallel ata? serial ata chip? at78c5010?

The new AT78C5010 from Atmel Corp. is an IDE PATA (Parallel ATA) to Serial ATA chip, targeted at PC, network and storage connectivity.

According to a press release, the SATA bridge chip allows hard disk drive (HDD), PC/server motherboard and storage subsystem manufacturers to use their current PATA electronics, enabling them a faster time-to-market in the serial connectivity environment.

The first generation of the Serial ATA interface breaks the 100MBps to 133MBps transfer rate, reaching up to 150MBps. The AT78C5010 is a versatile SATA Bridge offering the manufacturers the flexibility of functioning as a host or as a target (device) by pin selection, saving on the cost of buying two separate chips for each application, the company said. The new product interfaces to traditional PATA HDDs, ATAPI interface products like CD/DVD drives, as well as to host chipsets running up to 150MBps.

Atmel shared that the device's 150MBps point-to-point interface provides increased performance over the 133MBps transfer rate of Parallel ATA. This interface eliminates overhead associated with coordinating accesses between the master and slave device sharing the same cable. The new cabling not only makes it easier to route an array of disks, but it also makes data transfer more reliable by using low-voltage differential signaling, shielded from outside noise, the company added.

"Our goal is to help customers to efficiently migrate from Parallel ATA to Serial ATA," commented Max Bathaee, Sr. Marketing Manager for Atmel's Network Storage Products BU. "To further support our customers, in addition to availability of Serial ATA product line that includes PCI, PCIX, and PATA to Serial ATA as a stand-alone chip, we are making the IP available for system integration which enables the customers to add more features by designing an SoC. The IP will be offered at no NRE or royalty charge when customers purchase the SoC from Atmel."

The AT78C5010 uses 380mW during normal operation, which is suitable for mobile applications where battery life is important. The bridge integrates the link layer, transport layer and the internal 1.5Gbps PHY.

Samples of the AT78C5010 are available in an 80-pin TQFP package. Other packaging options are available upon customer request. For 10,000-unit quantities or lower, the device is priced at $3.95.

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