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Oak Technology Unveils First 24X CD-RW Optical Storage Controller With Constant Angular Velocity Write Capability

New Controller First to Provide Hardware Support for Mt. Rainier Standard; Offers 24X Write Speeds with Upgrade Path to 32X

SUNNYVALE, Calif., July 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Oak Technology, Inc. today announced the industry's first 24X Compact Disc -- Recordable/ReWritable (CD-R/RW) optical storage controller to support Constant Angular Velocity, a writing technique that achieves faster write seek times and reduces overall recording time by maintaining a constant rotation speed. The new controller is also the first to implement support for the pending Mt. Rainier standard in hardware for best performance, and it integrates Oak's patent pending ExacLink(TM) buffer underrun protection, thus providing one of the highest functionality CD-R/RW controllers on the market.

The OTI-9797 controller is capable of 24X CD-R and 24X CD-RW write speeds as well as 40X CD-ROM read speeds, and it provides an upgrade path to 32X recording speeds. The OTI-9797 is designed for use in PC-based or consumer audio CD-R/RW applications.

"Our next-generation OTI-9797 controller makes burning CDs a faster, more pleasant experience for consumers," said Nicos Syrimis, vice president, marketing, for Oak's Optical Storage Group. "Its 24X speed reduces burn time to approximately three and a half minutes for a full 650MB disc, while the proprietary ExacLink buffer under-run protection eliminates unusable 'coasters' that are created when the recording process is interrupted. Most importantly, it provides an upgrade path to 32X recording speeds and has features to support the Mt. Rainier standard, giving system designers much more flexibility while reducing their overall system costs."

The OTI-9797 employs dynamic write strategy, plus partial and full Constant Angular Velocity (CAV) write and audio DAC/filter circuits that offer the best performance in the industry while allowing a high degree of programmability and flexibility in the implementation of CD-R and CD-RW write strategies. In addition to a highly automated block decoder/encoder, the OTI- 9797 integrates a 40X CD-DSP that uses an advanced slicing technique and digital symmetry control to offer increased frequencies and gain programmability. Its digital CD servo provides highly accurate and advanced track counting, enabling the unit to jump an exact number of tracks -- up to 2047 tracks -- to substantially reduce seek time. The CD wobble servo block supports speeds up to 24X and allows CD encoding at all legacy speeds from 1X to 24X. To minimize system design costs for OEMs, Oak plans to release a pin- compatible 32X version of this device later this year as the market continues to progress to higher speed CD recording devices.

Oak's integrated hardware support for the emerging Mount Rainier standard will enable OEMs to add this feature to their drives and achieve better performance than software based solutions when applicable operating systems become available. The Mt. Rainier standard enables native OS support of data storage on CD-RW. This makes the technology far easier to use and allows the replacement of the floppy. This is done by: (i) having defect management in the drive, (ii) making the drive 2k addressable, (iii) using background formatting, and (iv) by standardizing both command set and physical layout. The Mount Rainier open standard is promoted by Compaq, Microsoft, Philips, and Sony and is supported by 38 industry leaders: OS vendors, PC-OEM's, ISV's, chip makers, and media makers. Oak Technology has been involved in the development of the specification and is one of the supporting members.

Constant Angular Velocity

Oak is breaking speed barriers and improving write seek times in the OTI- 9797 controller by employing linear CAV writing, a technique that provides better overall performance than Zoned Constant Linear Velocity (Z-CLV). Traditional controller designs write at a fixed rate using CLV by actually slowing the rotation of the disc when writing to the outer tracks. With CAV, the disc spin rate can be held constant with the data stream adjusted instead. Writing starts at the inner track at the same speed as a CLV method, but the write speed can then increase steadily until the maximum capability of the laser and media is reached. By employing this approach, Oak is able to maintain faster overall disc rotation speeds and better overall performance than solutions that use Zoned CLV.

Oak Technology's ExacLink design enables its OEM customers to provide stable, high-performance drives with improved data recording capability. ExacLink provides buffer under-run protection if the CD recording process is stalled or interrupted while the PC is performing other tasks. ExacLink also allows the drive to pause the write operation when data flow to the drive is interrupted. When the drive receives enough data to continue, it begins writing again at the exact point where the previous write was stopped and with the exact power level and frequency used during the previous write. In this way, the drive appears to a reading device as if the writing operation had never been interrupted.

Oak's OTI-9797 provides a high level of integration that includes an Ultra DMA IDE/ATAPI controller and USB1.1 interface. It uses digital processing techniques to minimize the amount of required analog circuitry, providing increased flexibility and greater immunity to system noise. An advanced architecture affords reduced error rates, greater seek accuracy, and improved seek access time. Power management is provided to reduce power consumption and increase power efficiency.


Oak's OTI-9797 controller is sampling now and will be available in production quantities in September 2001. The controller is priced at $15 each in sample quantities, and under $10 each in production quantities of 10,000.

Oak's Optical Storage Controller Technology

Oak, founded in 1987, has established a leadership position in the optical storage segment. The Company is recognized as one of the leading suppliers of optical storage controllers, having sold more than 130 million optical storage controllers to date. Oak's latest generation of advanced CD-RW optical storage controllers have been selected by most of the OEM suppliers of CD-RW drives. The Company's recent product development efforts in the area have focused on emerging segments, such as CD-RW and Combo drives, which are fast becoming the mainstream optical storage device for the PC market, as well as on CD Recordable solutions for the consumer audio and video markets.

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