August 23, 2005 -- The MultiMediaCard Association (MMCA) has approved ATA on MMC Specification Ver. 1.0, the interface designed especially for small form factor disk drives in next-generation portable consumer electronic (CE) devices. The version 1.0 specification is the first work to be released by the MMCA ATA on MMC Technical Sub-Committee which was formed in June 2004 to address the growing needs of low-power hard disk drive (HDD) data storage solution for small CE devices.
The ATA on MMC interface specification enables HDDs to leverage the MMC bus already supported on many CE products. It is a cost effective solution to implement HDDs in small systems with low pin count, low voltage, and efficient power management.
ATA on MMC Specification Ver. 1.0 is an interface protocol extension to the core MMC System Specification Ver. 4.x to enable ATA protocol commands and parameters to be transported through the MMC bus interface. Designed for easy implementation, the specification offers the highest degree of interoperability and compatibility with MMCA technology while remaining backward compatible with the existing controller base. Silicon vendors and card manufacturers benefit from improved integration, while consumers will see extensive storage capacity in exciting products still to come.
The MMCA had previously announced in January 2005 a liaison relationship with the CE-ATA Promoter Group which was formed in September 2004 to undertake a similar effort in creating a HDD interface standard that leverages the MMC interface on small CE devices. Working jointly with the CE-ATA Promoter Group, the MMCA aims to create a true common HDD interface standard for CE devices.
According to Marko Ahvenainen, Chairman of the MMCA ATA on MMC Technical Sub-Committee, "Since many host devices already support MMC bus in their architectures, ATA on MMC Specification Ver. 1.0 delivers a fast time-to-market solution for mini hard drives that is compatible with the host controllers in existing CE devices. We expect that in Ver 2.0, currently under development, we will be fully aligned with the CE-ATA Promoter Group in establishing a common standard."
The MMCA ATA on MMC Technical Sub-Committee formed in June 2004 currently has 41 contributing member companies. The CE-ATA Promoter Group represents some of the leading firms in the handheld and CE market, including Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, Intel Corporation, Marvell Semiconductor, Nokia Corporation, Seagate Technology and Toshiba America Information Systems.
The first end products supporting the new technology will be available in late 2005.
Go to the MultiMediaCard Association (MMCA) website for details.