DesignWare Technical Bulletin Article

Synopsys Releases DesignWare SATA IP for New SATA 6Gb/s Data Transfer Rate

The DesignWare® SATA AHCI host and device digital controller IP now have add-on support for the latest SATA 6 Gigabit per second (Gb/s) data transfer rate as defined in the Serial ATA (SATA) Revision 3.0 specification. This doubles the data rate of the previous (version 2.6) specification.

The DesignWare SATA digital controllers for the SATA 6Gbps data transfer rate support numerous features available in the SATA Revision 3.0 Specification including new streaming Native Command Queuing (NCQ) and power management states. Streaming NCQ introduces isochrononous priority to help improve the quality of service for audio/video streaming. For more power efficient systems, the DesignWare SATA controllers implement the new power mode states that allow a direct transition from partial to full slumber mode, bypassing the active state. Optimal system performance and flexibility is achieved by utilizing the embedded DMA and comprehensive firmware example. The included VMM-enabled DesignWare SATA Verification IP speeds the development of powerful SystemVerilog testbenches.

Who Needs SATA 6Gb/sec
Most applications rely on the SATA interface for high bandwidth transfers to memory. By increasing the transfer rate up to 6Gb/s, (600 MB/s encoded), SATA technology enables faster transfer of data. High-end PCs used for bandwidth-hungry applications like video editing would be good candidates for SATA 6Gb/s because they require high performance access to storage. High-end solid state drives (SSDs) are already pushing the limits of the existing SATA interface. Moving to SATA 6Gb/s will remove the bottleneck for SSDs to enable faster transfers. RAID controllers are another product area that will benefit from SATA 6Gb/s transfers as they are typically aggregation devices, reading and writing to storage media in parallel.

For more information on the DesignWare IP for SATA Complete Solution, click here.