Atmel Debuts Spindle/VCM Motor Controller Drivers for Mobile Hard Drive

4/7/2004 - Atmel® Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) announced the availability of its spindle/VCM motor controller/drivers product family. AT78C7005 and AT78C7015 are CMOS monolithic devices that integrate spindle and VCM (Voice Coil Motor) controllers as well as power stages into one chip. Both devices are optimized for mobile platforms of 2.5", 1.8", 1" and 0.85" hard disk drives.

The AT78C7005 has an auto detect supply voltage at power-up that operates from a 3.3V or 5.0V, which enables it to run on a battery or charger. "Optimized power consumption is one of the key elements when designing for mobile disk drives. Drive manufacturers insist on minimizing power consumption in the drives to reduce noise, cross talk and ultimately extend battery life," said Max Bathaee, Sr. Marketing Manager for network storage products. "A programmable 10-bit DAC offers very accurate spindle speed and a 1A current capability with RON = 1OHM. The VCM's programmable 14-bit DAC combined with a 10-bit ADC provide speed control ramp load/unload. Power-off retract is realized by the use of a 9V charge-pump. "The ramp-load/ unload becomes a important feature if you consider factors like the physical shock, low battery voltage, power loss or other reasons that may cause a sudden stop of the disk. This feature prevents the head from crashing on the disk drive," Bathaee added.

While data rate increases constantly the new applications within the consumer electronics are adopting the use of micro drives (1" and 0.85" platforms). Digital cameras, PDAs, music players and many more consumer applications are using micro drives, some making transition from 2. 5", to 1.8" and even 1" and 0.85" form factors. Small mobile drives can rotate at higher speeds, yielding higher data rate. They also need to be low voltage for longer battery life and lower battery size and weight to provide durability against physical shock. Both AT78C7005 and AT78C7015 conveniently support these functions by integrating special features that protect against data loss from decaying voltage while supporting a small design foot print.

The AT78C7005 operates from a 3.3V or 5.0V while AT78C7015 runs on a single supply of 3.3V and has the best power saving modes for maximum battery life, 9mA in normal run mode. This makes it ideal for mobile hard disk drive companies manufacturing. On-chip 1.8V, 2.5V and -3V regulators are designed into both devices to provide power to other chips in the system. A precision low-voltage detection circuit monitors the power supply and initiates VCM retract at voltage fault condition, which prevents data corruption due to the low battery or power loss.

AT78C7005 and AT78C7015 include SPI (Serial Port Interface) with read-back capability in order to see and program register values. "Our design team includes some of the best designers with expertise and experience in designing for disk drive products. Our manufacturing capabilities and excellence in customer service along with a very aggressive road map will enable us to be positioned as one of the top IC providers to hard disk drive manufacturers," said Bathaee.

AT78C7005 and AT78C7015 are available immediately for customer evaluation. Atmel will provide samples, evaluation board and firmware in addition to technical support. Both devices are available in a 64-pin TQFP package and it can also be available in a variety of other packages based on customer's requirement. The pricing is based on volume and shipment forecast.

About Atmel
Founded in 1984, Atmel Corporation is headquartered in San Jose, California with manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe. Atmel designs, manufactures and markets worldwide, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and RF semiconductors. Atmel is also a leading provider of system-level integration semiconductor solutions using CMOS, BiCMOS, SiGe, and high-voltage BCDMOS process technologies.

Atmel® and combinations thereof are the registered trademarks of Atmel Corporation or its subsidiaries.

Atmel's spindle/VCM motor controller/drivers product family information may be retrieved at: (AT78C7005) (AT78C7015)

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