- Meets industry-wide transition to new serial technologies for faster, more efficient storage and enterprise networking products
- 90- and 130-nanometer SerDes solutions offer design flexibility and self-test features for developing interfaces up to 6.25 gigabits-per-second
ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- December 6, 2004 -- Agere Systems (NYSE: AGR.A, AGR.B) today announced a new technology platform for high-speed serial interfaces in storage and enterprise network products. This semiconductor technology enables disk drive and system manufacturers to design interface solutions across any serial standard for increasing the data throughput up to 6.25 gigabits-per-second (Gbits/sec) between devices in computing, mobile, Ethernet networking and network- and server-attached storage applications.
Agere's new serializer-deserializer (SerDes) platform addresses the proliferation of serial interface technology across multiple applications, from emerging Serial ATA (SATA) and PCI Express standards used in PCs to Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS), Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet solutions in enterprise backplane and storage area networks. All of these market segments require the use of SerDes technology to drive serial connectivity.
With power consumption and core size half that of previous Agere serial interface offerings, this SerDes solution delivers a tested and validated platform for single-chip serial integration. Along with exceptional performance, Agere's SerDes architecture offers unprecedented design flexibility. Agere's solution supports both ends of the interconnect for drive-side and host-side serial chips. Serial interface silicon can be developed using both 130-nanometer (nm) and industry-leading 90-nm CMOS process technologies, covering all possible oxide, dielectric and voltage combinations. Agere's solution also offers unique test features that can be used for efficient and comprehensive production testing as well as for system-level testing and optimization, resulting in robust system designs and more reliable data transfers.
"Agere's SerDes solutions will target high-end networking and datacom switch fabrics along with enterprise storage markets where OEMs look to upgrade the bandwidth of existing backplanes and interfaces," said Sean Lavey, program manager at industry analyst firm IDC. "We believe chip suppliers with cost-optimized and low-power serial technology capable of scaling from today's 2.5 and 3.125 Gbit/sec speeds to faster 6.25 Gbit/s speeds will be positioned well for this upcoming transition."
IDC expects that nearly 50 percent of all enterprise disk drives shipped in 2005 will incorporate serial interfaces, with that number growing to more than 90 percent by 2008. In addition, IDC projects the enterprise storage semiconductor market to grow from $857 million in 2004 to $1.2 billion in 2008, and the Gigabit Ethernet (GbE)/10 GbE chip market to grow from $970 million this year to $2.5 billion in 2008 where this class of serial link technology will be used.
SerDes technology takes parallel lanes of data bit streams and converts them to a single stream of high-speed data running serially - one bit after another - for more efficient transmissions. SerDes also simplifies system design by eliminating routing congestion and lane-to-lane skew problems that exist in parallel bus implementations. Agere's configurable physical-layer SerDes can be used in application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for host bus adapters, enterprise routers and switches, and combined with Agere's TrueStore® read-channels and other electronics, to develop storage SoCs and controllers for disk drives.
Industry-leading performance, power, size and production testing
With data rate support of up to 6.25 Gbits/sec, Agere's SerDes solution meets current and next-generation requirements of a wide variety of serial interface standards, including SATA, SAS, Fibre Channel, PCI Express, XAUI, SONET backplane, Serial RapidIO and others. A higher level of digital functionality in this new SerDes architecture contributes to a 50 percent reduction in core size and power consumption, and provides for future implementations that support data rates exceeding 10 Gbits/sec.
"With this platform, Agere is offering serial technology that rivals the industry in power savings, small size and data throughput speeds," said Necip Sayiner, vice president of Agere's Enterprise and Networking division. "Agere's flexible platform and production test capabilities provide developers of serial interface products with substantial time-to-market savings, design portability and improved reliability for whatever serial interface standard they choose."
The serial interface platform offers advanced production test features to ensure data throughput reliability and robust silicon designs. Agere has enhanced its leadership in "at-speed" production testing with the addition of asynchronous jitter tolerance test capabilities in this new SerDes platform, allowing for cost-effective core logic and clock data recovery loop testing without the need for additional equipment. Agere's SerDes solutions can perform adaptive equalization, enabling systems to continually monitor and adjust signal quality while running live data. This solution is also unique in offering a 90-nm SerDes architecture capable of both non-return to zero (NRZ) and pulse amplitude modulation schemes.
The SerDes architecture is equally optimized for small or large port count ASICs, and supports a wide range of I/O supply voltages, from 1.8 to 3.3 volts. Agere's solution also enables cost-effective wire-bonding up to 6.25 Gbits/s, and supports flip-chip and lead frame package designs.
Agere leadership in serial development
This new platform expands Agere's expertise in high-speed serial interface technology. Agere has numerous storage-based designs with customers for SATA and SAS hard drive and host controller chips. Agere is also using this serial platform to design 90nm- and 130 nm-based Ethernet router and switch ASICs with SerDes capable of running up to 6.25 Gbits/sec.
Agere's SerDes core technologies are available now for ASIC macro cell integration.
About Agere Systems
Agere Systems is a global leader in semiconductors for storage, wireless data, and public and enterprise networks. The company's chips and software power a broad range of computing and communications applications, from cell phones, PCs, PDAs, hard disk drives and gaming devices to the world's most sophisticated wireless and wireline networks. Agere's customers include the top manufacturers of consumer electronics, communications and computing equipment. Agere's products connect people to information and entertainment at home, at work and on the road -- making personal broadband a reality.
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 e-mail queries to email@example.com. Written inquiries should be sent to Agere Systems, Room 10A-301C, 1110 American Parkway NE, Lehigh Valley Central Campus, Allentown, PA, 18109, USA.
Agere and TrueStore are registered trademarks, and Agere Systems and the Agere Systems logo are trademarks of Agere Systems Inc.
This release contains forward-looking statements based on information currently available to Agere. 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, our ability to keep pace with technological change, our 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, and our 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, 2003, and our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2004. 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.