Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) recently updated Serial ATA (SATA) Host/Device Intellectual Property (IP) controllers with added support for the most commonly used features in the latest SATA specification, Revision 2.6. Including support for features such as Native Command Queuing and Asynchronous Notification, Mentor is ensuring their customers will continue reducing time to market with storage-based products, including hard and optical disk drives, network storage applications and consumer electronics. The updated SATA Host/Device controllers are available for immediate delivery.
When combined with the Mentor SATA PHY IP solution, Mentor continues to offer one of the smallest SATA footprints in the industry at less than 0.3 square millimeters per lane due to the utilization of I/O ring for most of the analog circuitry in the PHY. This approach enables the Mentor solution to be up to five times smaller than those offered by most competitors.
Two significant features included in the SATA controller updates are Native Command Queuing and Asynchronous Notification.
- Native Command Queuing (NCQ)
An advanced feature of the SATA specification designed to increase overall performance by allowing the drive to internally optimize the execution order of issued commands. Intelligent reordering of commands by the SATA controller within the internal command queue helps improve performance by minimizing mechanical latencies on the drive. In addition, the updated Mentor controllers include a tracking mechanism to ensure all issued commands are completed.
- Asynchronous Notification
A mechanism for a device to send a notification to the host, signaling that the device requires attention. Possible uses for this feature include indicating new media has been inserted in an ATAPI device or indicating that a hot plug event has occurred on a Port Multiplier port.
In addition, the host controller now includes support for 10-, 20-, or 40-bit standard PHY interfaces. Consistent with Mentor’s strategy of offering completely integrated and industry-tested IP solutions, these cores were verified at the last SATA-IO Plugfest event and achieved interoperability with all participating host and device vendors.
More info: Mentor Graphics