Atmel Rolls Out AT78C5010 IDE Parallel ATA to Serial ATA Chip

10/27/2004 - Atmel® Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML), a global leader in the development and fabrication of advanced semiconductor solutions, announced the availability of its IDE PATA (Parallel ATA) to Serial ATA Chip. AT78C5010 is a new member of the Serial ATA products family targeted for PC, network and storage connectivity. AT78C5010 is a SATA bridge chip that allows hard disk drive, PC/server motherboard and storage subsystem manufacturers to use their current PATA (parallel ATA) electronics enabling them a faster time-to-market in the serial connectivity environment.

The first generation of the Serial ATA interface breaks the 100 to 133 MB/sec transfer rate, reaching up to 150MB/sec. The AT78C5010 is a versatile SATA Bridge offering the manufacturers the flexibility of functioning as a host or as a target (device) by pin selection, saving on the cost of buying two separate chips for each application. The AT78C5010 interfaces to traditional PATA hard disk drives (HDD), ATAPI interface products like CD/DVD drives as well as to host chipsets running up to 150 Megabytes per second (MBps).

Its 150MB/sec point-to-point interface provides increased performance over the 133MB/sec transfer rate of Parallel ATA. This interface also eliminates overhead associated with coordinating accesses between the master and slave device sharing the same cable. The new cabling not only makes it easier to route an array of disks, but it also makes data transfer more reliable by using low-voltage differential signaling, shielded from outside noise. The AT78C5010 uses a mere 380mW during normal operation which is highly desirable for mobile applications where battery life is most important. The AT78C5010 bridge integrates the link layer, transport layer and the internal 1.5 Gbps PHY. It is ideally suited for tailgate interface applications of removable-media PATA drives such as HDD, CD-ROM, CD-RW, and DVD-ROM. It allows PATA drives to be connected to the SATA bus in a plug and play fashion.

“Our goal at Atmel is to help customers to efficiently migrate from Parallel ATA to Serial ATA. To further support our customers in addition to availability of Serial ATA product line that includes PCI, PCIX, and PATA to Serial ATA as a stand-alone chip we are making the IP available for system integration which enables the customers to add more features by designing a SoC (System-on-Chip). The IP will be offered at no NRE or royalty charge when customers purchase the SoC from Atmel,” said Max Bathaee, Sr. Marketing Manager for Atmel Network Storage Products BU.

The AT78C5010 is intended to adapt an Ultra ATA/Disk Drive to Serial ATA Host interface, and a Serial ATA Device interface to an Ultra ATA/100 Host interface. By converting a PATA (device) to SATA (host) and vice versa, the IDE-SATA bridge allows the PC/server motherboard and storage subsystem (PATA/SATA disk drives) to be connected seamlessly.

Samples for the AT78C5010 are now available in an 80-pin TQFP package. Other packages can be available upon customer requirement. The pricing is based on volume and shipment forecastor $ 3.95 for quantities of 10K or lower.

About Atmel
Atmel is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of microcontrollers, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and radio frequency (RF) components. Leveraging one of the industry’s broadest intellectual property (IP) portfolios, Atmel is able to provide the electronics industry with complete system solutions. Focused on consumer, industrial, security, communications, computing and automotive markets, Atmel ICs can be found Everywhere You AreSM.

Atmel®, logo and combinations thereof, are registered trademarks, and Everywhere You AreSM is a trademark of Atmel Corporation or its subsidiaries.

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