A low-power preamp for mobile notebook hard-disk drives (HDDs) lets manufacturers offer as much storage capacity in 2.5-in., 7200-rpm drives as is found in today's desktop PCs--without a battery-life penalty. Agere's PA7700 brings read/write speeds topping 1.2 Gbits/s but burns half the power of previous-generation chips.
Versatility was as much a design goal as low power. To deal with current and future technologies, the preamp can be used with lower-density 4200-rpm, 2.5-in. drives as well as cutting-edge 7200-rpm drives. It also can handle today's giant-magnetoresistive (GMR) heads or the latest low-signal-to-noise-ratio tunneling GMR (TGMR) heads. And, it's designed for both conventional longitudinal recording and anticipated high-density perpendicular recording.
Agere expects to be in volume production with its low-power PA7700 preamplifier IC in early 2005. Sample quantities are available now for $3.95 each.