Gennum Corporation

Gennum Corporation

April 06, 2009 09:01 ET

Gennum's Snowbush IP Group Enables Rapid Deployment of SATA and SAS 6 Gb/s Products

First Available SATA/SAS 6 Gb/s PHY IP Can Reduce Development Time by Up to a Year

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 6, 2009) - Dramatically shortening the development time and risk associated with sophisticated system-on-chip (SoC) design for high- performance computing, Gennum Corporation (TSX:GND) today announced that its Snowbush IP group has developed a Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) 6 gigabits per second (Gb/s) physical layer (PHY) intellectual property (IP) block. The new IP also satisfies the stringent requirements of the latest Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) standard, SAS 2.0 (SAS-2). The SATA/SAS IP is being offered for manufacture in a variety of 65-nm and 45-/40-nm processes, including TSMC, as well as Common Platform Alliance members IBM, Chartered and Samsung.

The industry is undergoing a rapid transition to the higher data rates delivered by the Serial ATA International Organization: Serial ATA Revision 3.0 and SAS-2 standards. SATA and SAS are technologies used to transfer data to and from mass storage devices, such as hard disk drives and optical drives. The new SATA/SAS PHY IP has been optimized to deliver a low-power solution with a small silicon footprint that meets the requirements of both the SATA 6 Gb/s and SAS-2 specifications, while providing designers the margin they need to deliver a robust, highly manufacturable design. By eliminating the need for companies to develop complex PHY technology in-house, Gennum can shorten the development cycle by as much as a year.

"As storage standards evolve, our customers must be able to support the latest data rates without the significant investment and risk that typically accompany high-speed PHY development," said Ewald Liess, General Manager of the Snowbush IP group for Gennum. "We have developed and verified one of the most complex interface functions for mass storage devices, enabling customers to dramatically reduce the time and resources associated with in-house development, while at the same time helping them meet their goal of achieving first-pass silicon success with a very power- and area-efficient solution."

The new IP is the latest in an extensive line of Snowbush SATA IP that includes SATA 3Gb/s PHYs in multiple processes and complete, integrated PHY + Controller SATA solutions for both device and host applications. Exclusively focused on the design and delivery of high-speed serial interface IP, the Snowbush IP group has demonstrated success in the SATA market and can apply its IP integration expertise to help customers quickly develop products based on the latest version of the standard. Over 200 million products have been shipped with Snowbush IP inside, in end-products such as laptops, hard disk drives and server devices around the world.

The Serial ATA International Organization released the PHY portion of its third-generation storage interface in August 2008. SATA Revision 3.0 doubles the maximum data transfer speed for the popular SATA storage interface from 3 Gb/s to 6 Gb/s. The T10 technical committee of the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) develops and maintains the SAS protocol. SAS-2, the latest revision of the standard, offers data transfer rates of 6 Gb/s. SAS-compliant devices are compatible with SATA devices.

SATA/SAS PHYs Deliver Unparalleled Performance, Low Power in Compact IP Block Optimized for SATA and SAS Applications

The Snowbush IP block is highly programmable and configurable and utilizes extensive digital calibration to ensure high yield and minimize performance degradation due to process, voltage and temperature variations.

The PHY features full support for all SATA power saving modes, including "ready," "partial" and "slumber." The programmable high-swing transmit driver not only meets the SATA 6Gb/s requirements, but also exceeds the SAS-2 specification requirements for maximum peak-to-peak voltage. Built-in spread spectrum clock (SSC) generation supports down-spreading and center-spreading for maximum flexibility without the need for an external SSC clock source. Enhanced receiver equalization, including an auto-calibrating continuous time linear equalizer (CTLE) and DFE, are included to meet the demands of lossy SAS-2 backplanes.

For more information on Snowbush SATA/SAS PHY IP solutions, please visit:

Licensing and Availability

The Snowbush IP SATA/SAS PHY is available for licensing today in leading 65-nm, 45-nm and 40-nm processes and can be easily ported to new processes upon customer request. For more information on licensing terms, please contact

About the Gennum Snowbush IP Group

The Gennum Snowbush IP group offers a team of specialized interconnect experts to design and deliver silicon-proven, high-speed serial interface IP. Comprising one of the industry's most robust, widely-deployed, production-tested and customizable family of IP cores, the Snowbush IP portfolio satisfies the needs of today's most demanding high-speed serial communication protocols and applications. The offering includes complete, integrated, PHY and controller solutions for standards like USB, PCI Express(R) and Serial ATA (SATA), and single and multi-standard SerDes for applications with data rates from 1 Gbps to over 10 Gbps. Gennum's Snowbush IP group is committed to supporting customers with diverse foundry and process requirements, offering IP cores for TSMC, UMC, Common Platform, and Fujitsu processes.

About Gennum

Gennum Corporation (TSX:GND) designs innovative semiconductor solutions and intellectual property (IP) cores for the world's most advanced consumer connectivity, enterprise, video broadcast and data communications products. Leveraging the company's proven optical, analog and mixed-signal products and IP, Gennum enables multimedia and data communications products to send and receive information without compromising the signal integrity. A recognized award-winner for advances in high definition (HD) broadcasting, Gennum is headquartered in Burlington, Canada, and has global design, research and development and sales offices in Canada, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Snowbush IP, Gennum and related logos are trademarks of Gennum Corporation. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners. (C) Gennum Corporation, 2009.

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