Infineon Technologies announces new System-On-A-Chip for disk drives: Hitachi GST to use custom chip with embedded read channel and 3Gbit/s serial ATA interface

22.01.2004 | Market News

San Jose, Calif. – January 22, 2004 – Infineon Technologies today announced the availability of a new generation of highly integrated System-On-Chip (SOC) devices, manufactured using Infineon's advanced 0.13micron process, that integrates a 1.6 Gigabit-per-second (Gbit/s) read channel core, a 3 Gbit/s Native Serial ATA (S-ATA™) interface, a 16-bit microcontroller, a hard disk controller, embedded memory and a quality monitoring system. The company also announced that Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) has selected the Infineon chips to enable 3Gbit/s Native SATA capabilities in future versions of its Deskstar hard disk drives.

Hitachi GST was founded in 2003 as a result of the strategic combination of the storage technology businesses of Hitachi and IBM. Hitachi GST offers customers worldwide the most comprehensive range of storage products for desktop computers, high-performance servers and mobile devices. The company began shipping its Deskstar 7K250 desktop hard drive with a 1.5Gbit/s SATA interface earlier this year.

Hitachi GST continually delivers technology advancements that boost the feature set and performance characteristics of its hard disk drives. Employing an integrated 3Gbit/s SATA chip in future versions of Hitachi Deskstar drives is expected to increase data throughput and tighten integration at the printed circuit board (PCB) level. The new Infineon chips will also use low power, which is a critical design factor in many of today’s hard disk drives.

“We all know how important time-to-market is in the hard drive industry,” said Mr. Sandro Cerato, general manager and vice president at Infineon. “Having achieved the combined goal of providing a 3Gbit/s SATA SOC solution with an embedded read channel in first-silicon demonstrates Infineon's capabilities and expertise as a provider of high-volume, custom chips.“

“Infineon has demonstrated leadership in silicon integration and we are pleased to be incorporating their technology into our desktop hard drives,” said Bob Holleran, vice president and general manager, Desktop Business Unit, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. “We are moving to an integrated 3Gbit/s SATA chipset technology because it allows us to maximize data throughput, use less power and reduce PCB complexity.”

The new Infineon SOC devices are targeted for high-volume, cost competitive desktop hard drives and can be easily optimized for power sensitive applications, as soon as SATA becomes the de-facto standard hard drive interface.

“Today, customers require solutions with increased performance, lower cost and a higher level of integration. Infineon achieves all of these requirements with this latest product generation,” stated Dr. Reinhard Ploss, group vice president at Infineon.

Using the flexibility of Infineon's 0.13micron process, the new generation chips from the Infineon ASIC and Design Solutions Group can be manufactured worldwide in multiple fabs, allowing customers additional supply-chain flexibility and opportunity to expand. This is a very important value proposition in the hard drive industry, especially for high-volume applications like mobile and desktop PCs. Fabs currently offering Infineon's 0.13micron technology include ALTIS in France, a joint venture operated with IBM, Infineon's Dresden 12" fab in Germany and UMC in Taiwan.

Über Infineon

Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions for the automotive and industrial sectors, for applications in the wired communications markets, secure mobile solutions as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the US from San Jose, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore and in Japan from Tokyo. In fiscal year 2003 (ending September), the company achieved sales of Euro 6.15 billion with about 32,300 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at

™ - S-ATA is a trademark of Infineon Technologies North America Corp.