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Broadcom IC enables NAS devices for home, business markets

Posted: 05 Mar 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:storage processor chip? broadcom? network attached storage? nas? bcm4780?

The network storage processor chip from Broadcom Corp. enables a new class of low-cost and easy to use network attached storage (NAS) devices for the home and small- to medium-sized business markets.

"As digital files take the place of paper photographs, audio CDs and video tape, the need for reliable, affordable and easy-to-use storage within the home has steadily become more pronounced," said David Murray, Director of Business Development for Broadcom's NAS product line.

The BCM4780 features a high-performance MIPS32 CPU core, ensuring system performance at the highest rates possible on a 10/100Base-T Ethernet connection. Support for both Network File System (NFS) and Common Internet File System (CIFS) are built into the device, supporting computers running Windows as well as MacOS and Linux OSs.

With an integrated 10/100 Ethernet controller, PCI host interface and USB host and device interfaces, the processor provides many options for connecting to networks and interfacing with other devices such as optical backup drives. An on-board AES encryption and decryption ensure that data is recorded in a secure format without the network performance impact caused by software-based security solutions.

Offering new functionalities

The growing market for residential broadband connections and the increasing popularity of digital multimedia have contributed to the growing need for high-capacity storage systems that can be easily installed, configured, and operated by home users.

With the BCM4780, entry-level products can retail for $99 (without drives), and require no CD installation process. The IC can also enable hundreds of Gigabytes of NAS functionality. Adding a Broadcom-enabled NAS unit to an existing Ethernet-based home network will allow users to share files, gain "always-on" access to data, regardless of whether or not other computers on the network are active, and easily add additional storage to the network without the need for hard disk drive replacement on any of the attached desktop or notebook PCs.

For more advanced users, BCM4780-based storage products will offer a full range of powerful security and configuration modes, including enterprise-level features, such as RAID 0, 1 and 10 functionality with support for up to four hard disk drives in a single system.

The BCM94780 reference design includes all hardware and software components required for a complete NAS device. Standard features include automatic network discovery, support for streaming multiple HDTV-quality streams, and a RAID implementation that configures the device for automatic data mirroring.

The BCM4780 is available for less than $20 in quantities of 1 million units per year or more.

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