New Texas Instruments USB 2.0 to ATA/ATAPI Bridge Provides Industry-Leading Low Power Consumption

9/10/2002 - Delivering industry-leading low power consumption, combined with design flexibility and speed to market, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) announced a high-speed USB 2.0 to ATA/ATAPI (Advanced Technology Attachment/Packet Interface) bridge solution to serve the high performance PC storage peripheral market. Providing world-class throughput performance and a high level of interoperability with off-the-shelf ATA/ATAPI drives, the new solution separates itself from the competition with never-before achieved low levels of power consumption. The TUSB6250 cuts power consumption by more than half of competing devices, making the development of bus-powered USB 2.0 storage peripherals a reality.

TI's new TUSB6250 programmable USB 2.0 to ATA/ATAPI bridge features a unique low-power architecture and advanced process technology, optimized for low operating and standby power consumption. This low power consumption in turn frees USB 2.0 storage peripherals from the shackles of wall-mounted power outlets and power adapter "bricks" by allowing USB 2.0 storage peripherals to draw the power they require from the USB bus alone. This saves peripheral developers money and provides the end customer with a superior user experience. Reference designs are available now from TI to aid in the development of bus powered USB 2.0 storage peripherals.

"The TUSB6250 requires less than half the power of competing devices, which leaves sufficient power for our customers to power other devices present, including the drive, exclusively from the bus," said Chris Belanger, USB peripheral product marketing manager for TI.

In addition, the programming flexibility of the TUSB6250 allows developers to make use of a wider variety of off-the-shelf ATA/ATAPI devices than would be possible using alternative bridge devices. Applications for the TUSB6250 include HDDs, ZIP drives, CD-RW, DVDs, Magneto-Optical drives as well as USB 2.0-based digital audio players.

Ideal Solution for Portable Audio Players
The same low power attributes that make the TUSB6250 an attractive solution for PC storage peripherals also make it an optimal device for USB 2.0 portable audio players. Its extremely low standby power requirements contribute to extended battery life in portable applications. The device´s low operating power requirements allow the audio player´s battery to be recharged using the USB cable connection to the PC. This eliminates the need for a wall-mounted "brick" recharging unit, lowering the total cost of the audio player.

A Bridge Designed for Flexible Design
The ATA/ATAPI bus standards have been interpreted differently by storage device manufacturers in terms of command modes, signal timing and protocols. As a result, a programmable and highly configurable bridge solution such as the TUSB6250 is necessary in order to interface effectively with the numerous possible ATA/ATAPI configurations.

Development Support Speeds Time to Market
To support designers using the TUSB6250 bridge, TI offers a demo board that also serves as a reference design. Using the board, developers can evaluate the device and begin working immediately in designing USB 2.0 to ATA/ATAPI adaptors for their mass storage PC peripheral products.

"TI aims to enable the bus-powered USB 2.0 mass storage market with the interoperability and low-power performance of the TUSB6250," said Belanger. "We worked with our customers in designing the device, and we'll continue working closely with them to ensure they can bring their USB 2.0 products to market successfully."

The TUSB6250 bridge has been certified for USB 2.0 operability and is TI's first offering compliant with version 2.0 of the specification. TI is the market leader in USB 1.1 hub solutions and has a major presence in the overall USB market.

Availability, Packaging and Pricing
The TUSB6250 programmable USB 2.0 to ATA/ATAPI bridge is available now. The TUSB6250 demo board/reference design is also available now. The device is packaged in an 80 lead thin quad flatpack (TQFP). Planned pricing is $3.95 each in quantities of 10,000.

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