Electronic Design

Disk Controller/Read-Channel Family Handles The Gamut Of Power Requirements For Today's Portables

Circuits with performance tailored to meet almost every storage market segment—that's the driving force behind Agere's latest additions to its TrueStore family of disk-drive read channels and hard-disk controllers. Designers now have more architectural flexibility to meet the repartitioned circuit requirements of new portable systems like MP3 players, digital cameras, and PDAs. These systems will use micro disk drives with diameters of 1.8 in. to less than 1 in. but still require exceptional signal integrity, high speed, and low power consumption.

The RC6700 read channel offers high-quality signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and supports areal densities up to 160 Gbytes/platter for 3.5-in. drives targeting PCs, personal video recorders, gaming consoles, and set-top boxes. It operates at clock speeds in excess of 2 GHz, and servos operate 50% faster than the company's previous-generation desktop-level channel. For 2.5- and 1.8-in. drives in portable systems, the RC6700LP supports up to 80 Gbytes/platter while consuming 20% less power than the RC6700 and 40% less than Agere's previous-generation low-power channel.

When it comes to ultra-small form-factor drives, the RC1100ULP ultra-low-power channel helps extend battery life in 1- and sub-1-in. hard-disk drives. A "deep sleep" mode cuts the power drain by up to 70% compared to the RC6700LP. And, the RC7100HS delivers clock speeds in excess of 2.5 GHz to handle high-capacity, high-speed enterprise drives with spindle speeds up to 15k rpm that go into RAID arrays.

All four read channels share a common architecture that employs a digital finite-impulse-response filter. These channels support next-generation perpendicular recording techniques for both full and partial dc targets. The RC6700, RC6700LP, and RC7100HS are housed in 84-pin MLCC packages. The RC1100ULP comes in a 54-pin package.

An available drive controller provides the interface between host device and drive. Designed for mobile consumer designs, its initial version complements the RC1100ULP read channel for integration into a single-chip solution.

Engineering samples for most of the read-channel ICs are slated for the third quarter, with volume production due in the fall of 2004. The RC7100HS will be sampled in the fourth quarter, with volume production expected in 2005. Development versions of the hard-disk controller are expected in late 2004, with system-on-a-chip samples featuring the controller and the RC6700ULP read channel expected to ship in 2005.

Agere Systems Inc.

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