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Cirrus Logic Sets Unmatched 16X Write Speed With New CD-RW Chip

New Encoder/Decoder Chip Integrates Patent-Pending Control Processor to Deliver Industry's Highest CD-RW Write Speed

FREMONT, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 3, 2000-- Affirming once again its position as the speed leader in the optical storage market, Cirrus Logic Inc. (Nasdaq: CRUS) today introduced the industry's fastest CD-ReWritable (CD-RW) chip, delivering 16x write and 48x read speeds.

The new encoder/decoder (CR3480) can write twice as fast and read 50% faster than CD-RW chips currently available from other manufacturers. A major manufacturer of CD-RW drives has already selected Cirrus Logic's new chip because of its speed advantage and ease of use.

"CD-RW is now a standard form for many consumers to archive still images and photo albums," said Robert Dickinson, vice president and general manager of Cirrus Logic's Optical Storage Division. "With the advent of MP3 and Microsoft's Windows Media Audio format, downloading Internet audio is poised to grow explosively and compel many consumers to acquire a CD-RW drive for home archiving."

Embedded Encoding Enables Faster Write Speed & Reduces System Cost

The new CR3480 incorporates a highly automated recording formatter with a built-in control processor. This embedded processor automates the entire write process so that drive manufacturers can pre-program the write operation in firmware preventing unnecessary interrupts and minimizing intervention from the microprocessor.

Without the formatter, the microprocessor has to make instant decisions sector-by-sector within a fixed time constraint, thus limiting the increase of write speed. With the CR3480, the entire write process is taken care of in hardware, therefore minimizing the access time required at any write speed.

Advanced Buffer Manager Simplifies Design

The full streaming feature of the CR3480 buffer manager allows the disc and the host to transfer data simultaneously, with a monitoring mechanism that prevents buffer overrun and underrun conditions from occurring. With this buffer management scheme implemented in hardware, the overhead burden on the local microcontroller is greatly reduced.

This in turn leads to a shorter firmware development cycle and accelerates time-to-market. Moreover, a low-cost microprocessor can be used to control all the functions in the drive.

Firmware Compatible Decoder Family

The CR3480 is firmware compatible with its successful predecessor, the CR3470, an ATAPI CD-RW encoder/decoder, which is currently incorporated in Sony's entire family of Spressa CD-RW drives, including the CRX140S/C, CRX140/CH, CRX140E/X and CRX100E/X2.

This firmware compatible strategy allows existing OEMs to preserve Cirrus Logic's firmware code base, reducing their firmware development costs and again accelerating time-to-market.

Packaging, Pricing and Availability

The CR3480, ATAPI CD-RW encoder/decoder is packaged in a 128-pin LQFP package and is priced at $8.00 each in quantities of 25,000. The device is currently sampling with volume production scheduled for the second calendar quarter of 2000.

Cirrus Logic Inc.

Cirrus Logic is a premier supplier of high performance analog circuits and advanced mixed-signal chip solutions. The company's products, sold under its own name and the Crystal product brand, enable system-level applications in mass storage, audio and industrial precision data conversion markets. Additional information about Cirrus Logic is available at

Cirrus Logic is a registered trademark of Cirrus Logic Inc. All other product names noted herein may be trademarks of their respective holders.

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