February 12, 2001–Geneva, Switzerland–STMicroelectronics today announced the first system-on-chip solution for DVD-ROM drives–an advanced IC that includes all of the functions of a high speed DVD-ROM/CD-ROM drive except for external memories and actuator drivers.
The new system-on-chip, called “Verdi” (part number STA1000), contains an ST10 16-bit microprocessor core, a proprietary digital signal processor (DSP) core, memories, interfaces, and application-specific digital and mixed analog/digital functions. To be manufactured initially using 0.25-micron CMOS technology, the STA1000 is housed in a 233-lead ball grid array (BGA) package and needs no heatsink.
The STA1000 makes it possible to build high performance DVD-ROM subsystems that are very compact and cost effective. In addition, it supports very high-speed read operation, up to 16X DVD-ROM and 48X CD-ROM.
“With this leading edge system-on-chip solution, ST is entering the DVD-ROM business just in time to benefit from the explosive growth of this segment,” commented Aldo Romano, corporate vice president and general manager of ST’s Telecommunications and Peripherals/Automotive Groups. “This is a market that in 2 to 3 years’ time is expected to be equal in size to the hard disk drive market, a traditional strength of the company, and ST is well positioned to extend its leadership from magnetic to optical drives.”
ST is planning a second generation DVD-ROM system-on-chip, which will embed both flash and RAM memory, further reducing the component count for DVD-ROM drives. ST also has a future version in design that adds DVD recording capability.
The microprocessor core used in the Verdi chip is the ST10, a 16-bit microcontroller core widely used in hard disk drives and automotive applications. ST is a leading supplier of ST10 based system-on-chip solutions, many of which include embedded Flash memory capable of reliable operation even in the automotive grade temperature range. Recently ST introduced an enhanced ST10 core called Super10, which adds DSP instructions and doubles performance of existing ST10 code by executing instructions in a single clock cycle.
Verdi is the second system-on-chip solution for optical drives to be developed by ST, following closely behind a similar solution for the new DataPlay micro-optical data storage engine.