" OXFORD SEMI said it has released a bridge chip which will speed up the ability to create external hard drives and optical drives for the Macintosh and the PC.

The chip, the OXU921S, is a 128 pin device with an integrated S-ATA phy, a USB 2.0 phy, and an ARM7 TDMI microprocessor.

The firmware, said Oxford Semi, allows compatibility with standard operating system drivers.

The USB 2.0 link and phy support fill and high speed modes as well as backward compatibilit with USB1.1. The chip includes a 6K cache for USB data, and that means a data transmission speed of up to 480Mbit/secs, the firm said. The S-ATA core operates at 1.5GHz, giving a disk interface data rate of 150Mbytes/sec."