iWave Introduces SATA 3.0 Host Controller IP Core for Mass Storage Devices


Serial ATA (SATA) is computer bus standard that have the primary function of transferring data between Host and mass storage devices such as HDD and SSD. Serial ATA’s replaced the older Parallel ATA (PATA) standard by offering several advantages such as reduced cable size, hot plugging, faster data transfer through higher signalling rates etc.

iWaves’s SATA 3.0 Host Controller is available for integration into host FPGA designs to provide an industry- compliant SATA 1.0, SATA 2.0 and SATA 3.0 interface standards. Some of the main features of SATA 3.0 Host Controller are Compliant with the Serial ATA specification revision 3.0, RX Elastic buffer to handle TX and RX frequency variance, 4KB FIFO implemented by Memory block in transmit and receive paths, 32-bit internal data path , Supports AXI Interface to the Application Layer etc.

With iWaves’s SATA 3.0 Host Controller, can gain read/write speed close to maximum read/write of mass storage device. For Transcend SSD , maximum write and read speed are 500MB/s and 560 MB/s respectively. As per performance chart (Figure 2), achieves Write speed of 487MB/s and Read speed of 540MB/s.

iWave’s SATA 3.0 Host Controller consist of 3 layers, Transport Layer, Link Layer and PHY Layer.

PHY Layer: The main functions are converts 32 bit parallel data to differential Tx data and received Rx serial data to 32 bit parallel data, Clock recovery from serial data, 8B/10B encoding and decoding, Byte ordering and word alignment, Speed Negotiation, Out-of-Band (OOB) signal generation and detection.

Link Layer: The link layer is responsible for the transmission and reception of the frames also performs scrambling or de-scrambling and CRC calculations. It also handles flow control and transmission & reception errors.

Transport Layer: The transport layer communicates with the application layer, over the AXI interface, and from the data received formulates the FIS content and while sending back decomposes it. This layer decides the commands supported for the data transfers. It also has buffers in transmit and receive paths to ensure flow control.

IP Validation and Performance Testing:

iWave provides evaluation design can help validate the functionality & performance of the SATA 3.0 Host Controller. Evaluation platform is the Arria 10 SX SoC Development Board with iWave’s FMC Add On-card.

Soft Core Subsystem is used to provide control of the test driver to the user via UART. It performs throughput calculation for write and read, read ID of the SATA device, controls the operation of test driver based on selected test and allows user to Check Write/Read Performance and perform write to and read back from specified address for the defined size. Test Driver module is responsible to generate required signals for performing required operation as requested by user. This module accepts inputs from Soft Core and appropriately the state machine is built to perform the function. Initially the device ID is read and written to the RAM for Soft Core to access. Also the data integrity check in case of read back is done here.

IP Deliverables: Following are the deliverables provided for the IP.

  • Design Document
  • RTL Source Code or Device Specific Net list
  • IP Datasheet
  • IP Integration Manual
  • Time Limited Evaluation Binary

For implementation details and features supported by the IP, please click here

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