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ADI teams up with Intel to develop bus interface

Posted: 19 Jun 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Analog Devices Inc.  Intel Corp.  computer system  heat dissipation  voltage management 

Analog Devices Inc. has teamed with Intel Corp. to develop a way to efficiently communicate computer system heat dissipation and voltage management and control information to safeguard the performance and reliability of high-performance desktop computers, workstations and servers.

The two companies have co-developed and launched a new bus interface called the Simple Serial Transport (SST) bus that enables faster and more precise communication of the system efficiency-determinant factors of temperature and voltage within a variety of computing systems. By relaying this environmental information to a computer's core-logic chipset with greater speed and accuracy, the SST bus can dramatically reduce thermal management errors that can lead to a drop in computing performance. In a related announcement today, ADI announced the ADT748x family of SST-enabled temperature and voltage sensors designed for use in personal computers, workstations and servers.

By communicating data in a robust, noise-immune and scalable way, the SST bus improves on the existing 100 Kbps System Management Bus (SMBus) in high-performance computing applications by offering increased bandwidth and higher noise sensitivity. Designed to reduce fan noise and improve platform performance in desktop PCs, servers and workstations, the SST bus relays key environmental information, such as temperature and voltage, directly to the system's core logic or dedicated ASIC fan-speed controllers at a rate of 1Mbps.

The SST bus enhances system reliability and performance by significantly reducing communication errors. In particular, when tested in the same environment on PC motherboards, the SMBus measures about one error every 10,000bits, compared to the SST bus' one error for every one billion bits processed. As a result, the user may see improved boot time and less chance of delays caused when a thermal event is not properly relayed to the core logic. In addition, the SST bus allows PC and workstation designers to use new features found in some next-generation Intel chipsets, such as the recently announced Intel Quiet System Technology (Intel QST). With the integration of fan speed control in the core logic, Intel QST reduces the number of discrete fan control components in the system, which can lower BOM costs and allow system developers to use more programming options.

"A bus was required to enable industry-wide compatibility with system management devices, such as temperature sensors and voltage monitors in computing applications," said Steve Peterson, Intel's director of Chipset and Software Marketing. "Working with Analog Devices, we developed a common, robust interface that can be easily incorporated by all licenced vendors, allowing them to add custom capabilities, such as the Intel QST, for environmental features in PCs, servers and workstations."

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