back to article Seagate goes back to ASICs, slurps upstart's brains in return for cash

Seagate has invested in a bespoke chip designer that can whack new interfaces to the hard disk giant's products. The silicon slinger is privately-held eASIC, which was tapped up for its "expertise in fast time-to-market, low-cost and low-power" custom chip knowhow, we're told. The draw for Seagate seems to be the ability to …

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  1. Steve Todd

    It looks pretty much like an FPGA

    But they've removed the programable part and hard-code it with a single metal layer mask during fabrication. It should be quick and comparatively cheap to spin new designs, but won't be as fast as a true ASIC.

    1. The First Dave
      Boffin

      Re: It looks pretty much like an FPGA

      I don't see any reason why it should be slower?

      1. Steve Todd
        Boffin

        Re: It looks pretty much like an FPGA

        Because with a fixed pattern of gates across a given silicon estate you don't have the same ability to optimise trace lengths by moving units about, which at that scale have a major effect on propagation delays and hence maximum speeds.

  2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Happy

    e-beam direct write + gate arrays

    European Silicon Structures and Ferranti ride again.

    Who knew?

  3. RobHib
    Unhappy

    Seems Seagate has to do something and quickly - but 'tis too late for me.

    I've 'boat anchors' surrounding me--boxes of dead Seagate drives with the occasional Samsung and WD drive sprinkled in for good measure.

    The angst and time lost recovering data from these reliably unreliable drives has been enormous.

    Seagate, in any product form, has been off my shopping list for some considerable time now. I fail to see how this announcement will change that.

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