Mentor Graphics Updates Serial ATA Host Device IP Controller

Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) announced immediate availability of 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.

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.

“Responding to the maturing SATA market needs, we updated our SATA controllers with the most popular advanced features found in the latest SATA specification, to offer complete functionality within a storage subsystem,” said Bill Martin, general manager for the Intellectual Property Business Unit of Mentor Graphics. “With this complete Mentor storage subsystem, designers can implement SATA-based interfaces consuming less power and taking up smaller area than other industry offerings, all pre-integrated from a single IP vendor.”

Product Features
Two significant features included in the SATA controller updates are Native Command Queuing and Asynchronous Notification.

Native Command Queuing (NCQ) is 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 is 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.

The updated SATA Host/Device controllers are available for immediate delivery. For more information on Mentor Graphics IP solutions, call 1-800-547-3000.

About Mentor Graphics
Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the world’s most successful electronics and semiconductor companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues over the last 12 months of over $825 million and employs approximately 4,300 people worldwide. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777.

Mentor Graphics is a registered trademark of Mentor Graphics Corporation.