FEBRUARY 24, 2003 - ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- Agere Systems (NYSE: AGR.A, AGR.B) today announced a new multi-protocol platform that enables high-speed serial interfaces for storage applications. This solution allows hard disk drive and system manufacturers to reliably and cost-effectively transition from parallel interfaces to advanced serial interfaces that will dramatically increase the data throughput between disk drives and motherboards in PCs, laptops, consumer electronic devices and high-end corporate storage applications.
Agere's Serial Storage Interface Platform (SSIP) is a universal building block for drive-side systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) and integrated circuits (ICs) -- as well as host-side application-specific ICs -- across multiple serial interface standards, including Serial ATA, Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) and Fibre Channel. Agere's flexible platform and system-on-a-chip integration expertise offers drive makers and system OEMs substantial time-to-market savings as well as improved cost and reliability for whatever interface they choose to support.
Agere's solution will support current as well as next-generation data rates for each interface standard, including 1.5- and 3-Gbit/sec speeds for Serial ATA and SAS implementations, and 1.06-, 2.125- and 4.25-Gbits/sec for Fibre Channel networked drives. Serial ATA and SAS are projected to replace the currently predominant parallel ATA and SCSI interfaces over the next few years.
"Agere developed the new SSIP core to satisfy the broad range of serial interface technologies required by our customers," explained Ron Black, executive vice president of Agere's Client Systems group. "With this core solution our customer can create serial-based drives and host-side interfaces for any protocol using a single silicon platform. We feel the data throughput enhancements of serial interface technology will significantly alter the storage landscape and extend the addressable markets for some of these interfaces beyond their current boundaries."
Industry analyst firm IDC expects the number of hard disk drives using serial interfaces to grow rapidly over the next few years and will represent 70 percent of the global drive market by 2006.
Agere's SSIP is a configurable physical-layer serializer-deserializer (SERDES) which can be combined with Agere's TrueStore™ read-channel technology to develop storage SoCs and controllers. The SSIP can also be used in corresponding host bus adapter and chipset designs. Highly programmable, the SSIP core allows serial solutions to be optimized for specific application environments such as cabled or backplane configurations. This customizable architecture enables reduced data transfer error rates, resulting in improved system performance. The platform is developed using industry-leading 130-nanometer complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process technology.
For hard drives and system chipsets designed for desktop, mobile, consumer electronics and entry-level server applications, Agere's SSIP core can be used to implement a Serial ATA interface, significantly increasing the maximum data throughput available in today's parallel ATA drives from 100 to 150- and 300-megabytes-per-second. Instead of relying on 'bridge' Serial ATA chips that are costly, difficult to integrate and consume additional board space and power, drive makers can use Agere's platform to develop single-chip solutions that effectively increase throughput without compromising signal integrity.
For enterprise storage applications, such as high-end workstations and server "blades," system and hard disk drive manufacturers can migrate from parallel SCSI configurations -- in which multiple drives share access on a common high-speed cable -- to SAS and Fibre Channel interfaces that provide dedicated high-speed connections via point-to-point and switched configurations.
Agere's SSIP core technology will be available for integration in custom-designed SoCs and controllers beginning in April.
Along with read-channels, Agere's TrueStore portfolio of storage solutions will include next-generation versions of Agere's SoCs, hard-disk drive controllers, motor controllers, and preamplifiers. Agere's IC solutions deliver the performance required to meet the growing demand for storage capacity in applications ranging from traditional hard-disk drives for desktop PCs, laptops and servers, as well as for consumer products such as game consoles, personal video recorders, digital cameras, and MP3 players.
For more information, customers may visit Agere's Web site at www.agere.com or contact one of Agere's regional sales offices. Customers in the U.S. may also call the Agere Systems Customer Response Center at 1-800-372-2447. Customers in Canada may call 1-800-553-2448. Customers outside those countries may call +1-610-712-4323. Fax inquiries may be directed to +1 610 712 4106, or email queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Written inquiries should be sent to Agere Systems, Room 10A-301C, 1110 American Parkway NE, Lehigh Valley Central Campus, Allentown, PA, 18109, USA.
Agere Systems is a premier provider of advanced integrated circuit (IC) solutions that access, move and store network information. Agere's IC solutions form the building blocks for a broad range of communications and computing applications. The company is the leader in providing storage solutions for hard disk drives with its read-channel chips, preamplifiers and system-on-a-chip solutions, and the No. 2 provider of Wi-Fi solutions for wireless LAN applications. For network equipment providers, Agere is a leading supplier of ICs for wired communications, network switching and access, and ATM and SONET/SDH solutions. In addition, Agere is the No. 2 supplier of application-specific ICs (ASICs) for communications applications. More information about Agere Systems is available from its Web site at http://www.agere.com.
TrueStore is a trademark of Agere Systems Inc.
Agere Safe Harbor Statement: This release contains forward-looking statements based on information available to Agere as of the date hereof. Agere's actual results could differ materially from the results stated or implied by such forward-looking statements due to a number of risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, satisfactory outcome of our upcoming union contract negotiations, keeping pace with technological change, dependence on new product development, price and product competition, availability of manufacturing capacity, customer demand for our products and services, general industry and market conditions, timely completion of employment reductions and other restructuring and consolidation activities, limits on our ability to issue equity to raise capital and reliance on major customers and suppliers. For a further discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, see our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2002, and our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended December 31, 2002. Agere disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.