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SATA, SAS adapter cards support PCI-X, PCIe

Posted: 12 Sep 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LSI Logic? serial ATA? serial attached SCSI? SATA? SAS?

LSI Logic has added six serial ATA and serial attached SCSI (SAS) adapter cards to its portfolio, expanding the family by 50 percent. The cards span from entry-level to top-of-the-line products using both the PCI-X and PCI Express interfaces. All are geared for the 3Gbps versions of the storage interfaces.

"We've been working on our serial transition for several years, especially in storage. Now we have filled the gap for both SATA and SAS product lines," said Tom McCarthy, a senior channel marketing manager for the company.

LSI claims its offerings stand out because the company has integrated support for PCI-X and Express in its homegrown controller chips, while some competitors use third-party bridge chips that may add cost and latency. The company also uses a common set of connectors and cables for the two storage interfaces, easing anticipated user migrations from less-expensive SATA to higher-end SAS hard disks.

Though three of the new products ride the PCI-X interface, McCarthy said the bus is nearing the end of its career. He said he does not expect LSI will introduce any more PCI-X cards for the 1.0 version of SAS, adding that "PCI-X could be a real bottleneck when the next-generation storage interfaces come out."

The new products include the MegaRaid SATA 300-8ELP, LSI's first SATA card for Express. Like most of the MegaRaid family, the card contains the Intel Brockton 333 I/O processor to deliver RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 10 and 50. It also includes 128Mbytes of 333MHz DDR memory. The card supports eight internal drive ports.

Another new MegaRaid SATA card, the 300-4XLP, supports four ports and rides on PCI-X. The MegaRaid cards also support links to external drive arrays and battery backup power.

The 8300XLP is the lowest-cost LSI SAS card to support the MegaRaid features. It supports links to eight drives or arrays.

LSI is also offering three new host bus adapters for SAS two- and four-port versions and one eight-port card. The HBAs use an embedded CPU in their integrated controller to handle RAID levels 0, 1, 1E and 10E, offloading that work from a host CPU and its memory.

Prices range from $365 for a single 8300XLP SAS card to $1,159 for a "five pack" of the 3080X-R SAS cards. Pricing for the entry-level SATA 300-8ELP card is $619 for a single unit in kit form.

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