Electronic Design

HDD Pre-Amp Delivers Blazing 2.5-Gbit/s Operating Speed

Specifically designed for use in enterprise and desktop computer hard disk drives (HDDs), the TrueStore PA7800 pre-amplifier IC from Agere Systems offers the industry’s fastest operating speeds—topping 2.5 Gbits/s—while consuming 30% less power in write mode than the previous-generation Agere chips. The high-performance, low-power chip is now sampling to customers and is expected to be in volume production by the fall of 2007. The PA7800 is compatible with the new generation of tunnel magneto-resistive (TMR) heads.

The key to the IC’s high performance is the chip’s writer rise time, a measure of how fast the pre-amp can switch current to the writer head for recording data on the HDD’s platter, or to storage media. The PA7800’s writer rise time delivers a nearly 30% improvement over Agere’s previous-generation pre-amp for this market. An HDD’s pre-amplifier is important to the performance of the drive’s heads and media. As a drive “reads” analog signals from the disk drive platter, the pre-amp boosts these extremely small signals before they are sent to a read-channel IC for sophisticated processing and digitization. For the write process, the pre-amp drives current through the inductive write head, which records information on the platter. For more, check out www.agere.com.

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