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Cirrus Logic's New CD-Recordable/Erasable Chip to Support Speeds of 18X Read & 8X Record


At a press conference held in conjunction with World PC Expo 1996, Cirrus Logic Inc. introduced the industry's fastest encoder/decoder chips for next generation CD-ROM applications. The new encoders support CD-Recordable/Erasable (CD-R/E) capabilities, which lets the end-user record, erase and re-use the CD. Available in SCSI interface (CL-CR3560) and ATAPI interface (CL-CR3460) versions, the encoders also support the industry's fastest 18X read and 8X record disc speeds. "With the emergence of CD-E (Compact Disc Erasable) technology, drive manufacturers need CD-R/E chips that are easily implemented and provide leading-edge technology to compete in this growing market," said Nicos Syrimis, general manager of Cirrus Logic's Optical Storage Division. "We designed the CL-CR3560/CR3460 in response to customer demands for a device that supports industry-leading performance while minimizing time-to-market.

These two new single-chip solutions integrate most of the functions required to produce a high-performance, cost-effective CD-R/E drive." The new chips are fully compatible with all CD-writing methods giving the end user the freedom to copy and create on all CD-ROM formats. These chips also support Sony-Philips(R) CD-ROM, CD-I, and CD-DA(TM) (Digital Audio) formats, for use with all implementations of CD technology. These highly-integrated, single-chip solutions are equipped with a CD-ROM encoder/decoder, CIRC encoder, EFM modulator, ATIP decoder and a SCSI or ATAPI interface. They feature a highly-automated buffer manager, a three-level power down capability and programmable real-time ECC (error correction code) technology.

Implementing ECC in hardware reduces firmware requirements and enhances drive performance by eliminating microcontroller intervention. Cirrus Logic's advanced programmable ECC performs up to 64 P/Q-word corrections per sector and also performs erasure pointer corrections, allowing retrieval of otherwise unrecoverable data. The CL-CR3560/3460 also performs real-time subcode correction in CD-DA mode. Both devices combine fast error correction and the capability to read damaged discs on-the-fly to provide the industry's most advanced data integrity protection. "With this introduction Cirrus Logic underscores its commitment to lead the industry in optical storage technology," said Syrimis. "We combined a sophisticated buffer manager with our advanced ECC support to produce 18X read and 8X record transfer rates, significantly exceeding today's drive requirements. We are also offering our customers a common hardware platform allowing them to develop both SCSI and ATAPI interface CD-R/E drives, reducing the firmware development time effort and improving their time to market."


The industry's first highly-integrated SCSI interface CD-R/E encoder/decoder. The CL-CR3560 has a single-ended SCSI interface with integrated 48mA bus drivers. The chip supports the SCSI-2 industry standard, making it compatible with a wide variety of peripherals. The CR3560 is also SCAM compatible, conforming to the latest updates of the SCSI specification.


The CL-CR3460 is the ATAPI equivalent high-performance CD-R/E encoder/decoder. The ATAPI interface permits the CD-ROM to share the ATA bus of the host computer with existing ATA/IDE hard disk drives. This hardware/software ATAPI compatible solution supports fast ATA transfer speeds (up to PIO mode 4 and DMA mode 3) to enable transfer rates of the highest-performance systems.

The CL-CR3560 SCSI and CL-CR3460 ATAPI CD-R/E encoders/decoders are packaged in 128-pin quad flat packs (QFPs). Sample quantities of the CR3560 are available now and the CR3460 will be available in late September. Production quantities will be available at the end of the year, priced at $20 for the CR3560 and $15 for the CR3460 for high-volume.


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