With Serial ATA on the way, Agere Systems is capping costs and power consumption with a single-chip solution on the drive side. Serial ATA is expected on motherboards around the middle of 2003, so hard-disk-drive and optical-drive vendors are looking to deliver drives in that time frame.
Agere's Serial ATA system-on-a-chip (SoC) wraps Serial ATA support around a customer's microprocessor core. Additional custom intellectual property can be included on the chip. The SoC supports a 150-Mbyte/s link, while many two-chip solutions only provide 100 Mbytes/s. Two-chip solutions are usually based on a parallel ATA chip with a Serial ATA bridge chip. The single-chip solution is more efficient when it comes to power consumption, even when providing higher throughput.
Chips developed using Agere's Serial ATA SoC solution will run about $5 to $7, on par with parallel ATA solutions. Contact Agere for licensing and integration details.
Agere Systems Inc., www.agere.com; (866) AGERE-IR.