Electronic Design

90-nm SoC Capability Builds High-End Drives

A new 90-nm system-on-a-chip (SoC) gives designers a way to create high-end desktop and server hard-disk drives. STMicroelectronics claims its device—which integrates ST’s intellectual property in the hard-disk controller (HDC), read channel, serial ATA interface (SATA), and memory—is the first such product to be manufactured in a 90-nm process. Functional silicon is currently being evaluated and tested, and it’s sourced from the Crolles2 Alliance 300-mm wafer facility in Crolles, France.

The T90 Read Channel IP supports data rates ranging from 300 Mbits/s up to 1.7 Gbits/s. Along with the SATA performance, this data rate positions this design as an optimized solution for the 2.5- and 3.5-in. disk drives used in high-end mobile computers, desktop computers, and servers.

Read Channels encode and decode the data flowing between the head preamplifiers and the SATA interface and memory. The 90-nm design is based on ST’s Tintoretto read-write channel architecture, which enables high data rates with low power dissipation in all hard-disk-drive operating modes. Also, the T90 supports 10-bit high-rate codes and reverse order coding, media noise optimized data detection, advanced defect scan, longitudinal and perpendicular recording, and self servo write.

The embedded HDC manages the data flow and controls head positioning during track and seek operations. Based on proven ARM-based technology, its 32-bit high-performance CPU core runs at 450 MHz.

ST announced the successful fabrication of the MiPHY (Multi-Interface PHY) physical layer in 90 nm last year. This macro-cell provides the high-speed SATA interface in the new chip. It also can support applications using the Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), Fiber Channel, and PCI Express serial interface standards, enabling fast design validation for different markets and reducing costs for manufacturers by optimizing engineering resources. The SATA interface is capable of 3 Gbits/s and has shown very good jitter performance of less than 2 ps (random) and less than 50 ps (total).

STMicroelectronics
www.st.com

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