QuickLogic SDIO Host Controller Targets Handheld Systems

QuickLogic® Corporation (NASDAQ:QUIK) has enhanced its SDIO host controller solution with the ability to handle multiple, independent memory cards. The enhanced host controller solution is a Proven System Block (PSB) of the company’s Customer Specific Standard Product (CSSP) solutions platform library, addressing the needs of handheld system designs. The first delivered implementation handles four independent cards, but the company can configure the PSB for as many card slots as a customer requires.

The base SDIO controller supports SD, SDHC, and MMC memory cards with 4-bit and 8-bit widths. The enhanced design includes multi-drive control logic and a multiplexer to connect the controller to multiple cards using a single set of I/O lines. Cards can be of any capacity to as large as the 32 Gbytes that the SD 2.0 specification allows. Mr. Heape pointed out that this would permit a four-card implementation to give a portable device up to 128 Gbytes of storage, comparable to mini hard drives but with the reliability and flexibility advantages of removable solid state memory.

Because the controller treats each card slot as an independent solid state drive, users can mix card types and capacities in the slots without restriction. The controller can work with multiple cards as described, or can work with SD-based Managed NAND devices (such as Sandisk’s iNAND) and work with embedded MMC (eMMC) devices such as Samsung’s MoviNAND. It senses the type and capacity of a card (or attached memory device) upon insertion (or power-up) and automatically configures its operation to match. The controller can also be modified so that one card or attached memory device can be designated as the “boot” device in a system. Software driver support for Linux, Windows CE, and Windows Mobile operating systems is available.

QuickLogic’s enhanced SDIO host controller PSB is available immediately in a 4-slot configuration and can be customized for other configurations as needed. The PSB can be implemented in the programmable fabric in the PolarPro and EclipseII CSSP platforms or can augment the base SDIO controller built into the ArcticLink CSSP family to provide multi-slot operation.

More info: QuickLogic