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Hitachi, Agilent raise bar on Fiber Channel drive performance

Posted: 27 Sep 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:hitachi global storage technologies? agilent technology? 4gbps? fiber channel arbitrated loop? hard drive?

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and Agilent Technologies Inc. announced Tuesday (Sept. 21) that they have successfully achieved 4Gbps performance in the Fiber Channel Arbitrated Loop (FCAL) interoperability test, paving the way for 4Gbps Fiber Channel hard drives from Hitachi in early 2005.

According to both companies, advancing the 4Gbps Fiber Channel interface standard is expected to benefit enterprise server and storage customers requiring the fastest, most reliable systems for storage area network, file sharing, workgroup and scientific/engineering environments.

The 4Gbps FCAL specification is designed to allow for a data transfer of up to 400Mbps half-duplex and up to 800Mbps full-duplex per port.

Design engineers established a 4Gbps FCAL connection between Agilent's Tachyon 4Gbps DX4+ PCI-X and Tachyon QX4 PCI Express Fiber Channel controllers and a Hitachi 4Gbps hard disk drive prototype. Commands and data were successfully transmitted between the devices through Agilent's 4Gbps SFP fiber optic transceivers and 22-port, 4Gbps FCAL switch.

The process verified that Agilent's 4Gbps SAN tester successfully coexists with the Hitachi drive in the FC arbitrated loop. The companies will continue to exchange hardware and jointly test products to gain additional technology insights and set new performance benchmarks.

Both companies have been active in establishing the 4Gbps standard, which effectively doubles the industry-standard FCAL interface speed of 2Gbps.

In January, Hitachi demonstrated a 4Gbps FCAL data transfer between two fully integrated hard drive controllers. Agilent followed in March by rolling out 4Gbit Fiber Channel controllers and switches, anticipating an industry-wide transition to the new standard.

- Spencer Chin

EE Times





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