TI, Cornice Targets Portable Consumer Devices with Embedded Storage

6/3/2003 - By leveraging its expertise in storage solutions and portable consumer electronics, Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE: TXN), announced that it is working with Cornice, Inc. on their 1.5GB Storage Element (SE). The SE, a 1-inch, high-capacity, embedded storage device, is designed to bring low cost storage solutions to portable consumer electronics devices such as MP3 players, PDAs, digital video recorders and players, and handheld gaming devices.

The Cornice SE is designed to revolutionize the capabilities and functionality of consumer devices by providing gigabytes of extremely affordable storage when compared to today´s flash memory solutions. A flash card that offers comparable capacity typically costs between $400 and $500 retail in addition to the cost of the portable device. The price of the SE enables Cornice customers to deliver their products to consumers at well under the retail cost of a similar flash-based device.

TI expertise enables innovative storage solution for portable applications
"TI brings systems expertise on multiple levels to our Storage Element. Our objective was to design a highly reliable, low cost, small form factor storage device and by leveraging their hard disk drive (HDD) and consumer electronics systems expertise, we were able to deliver a unique and innovative storage architecture," said Kevin Magenis, Cornice founder, president and CEO. He went onto say, "By working very closely with an industry leader such as TI, Cornice was able to achieve the cost, quality, and competitiveness that we needed to take advantage of the growing market for compact, high-capacity storage technologies."

TI´s chipset solution consists of a custom TMS320C2000TM platform DSP controller, SR1740 pre-amp, and SH2100 servo controller. The DSP controller performs real time signal processing for, among other things, read/write positioning, error correction and control (ECC) and buffer management in addition to providing the interface to the Storage Element. This industry unique solution incorporates the DSP on the host, not the storage device, allowing for a higher level of future integration.

The SR1740 preamp was designed with the specific needs of the 1 inch form factor market in mind, resulting in a pseudo-differential, low power, low cost preamp that is now offered as part of TI´s standard catalog of preamp products. Similarly, the SH2100 servo controller was specifically designed for low voltage and small form-factor applications. Containing the digital interface logic and other utility functions required in this drive, the SH2100 is a highly integrated solution that complements the rest of the chip set and turns it into a complete solution.

Innovative approach to classic HDD electronics
"Larger, desktop PC hard drives often utilize an electronics architecture that integrates around the read channel integrated circuit (IC)," said Kenneth Nesteroff, storage DSP manager, TI. "However, when Cornice targeted the portable consumer electronics market for their 1 inch SE, they seized a prime opportunity to differentiate their electronics architecture to better meet the requirements unique to these non-PC applications. The result is a repartition of classic HDD electronics that enables a cost-effective and technologically advanced chipset solution.

TI´s programmable DSP and analog solutions for portable audio, imaging, and video encoding and decoding, provide support for the Cornice Storage Element in addition to other industry standard storage solutions. Continuing its commitment to the multimedia jukebox market, TI is addressing the primary concerns of its customers--form factor and cost," said Chris Schairbaum, business manager of portable audio and infotainment at TI. "We feel Cornice´s new Storage Element will help boost growth in the portable multimedia player market and we look forward to working with Cornice and seeing it implemented in our customers’ latest products.

The Cornice Storage Element is already shipping in volume quantities and will be available in portable consumer products including Rio® Nitrus Urban and Eigen Executive portable digital audio players, iRiver´s iGP-100 digital audio player and Digitalway´s HS100portable USB storage unit and HD200 portable music juke box beginning in early June through August.

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