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Next-gen SteelVines chips offer alternatives

Posted: 28 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:processor? SteelVine? storage processors?

Silicon Image Inc. has announced the availability of a second generation of SteelVine storage processors that are, according to the company, designed to give motherboard and storage appliance manufacturers a more powerful and cost-effective solution, with lower power requirements and a smaller footprint.

Advanced storage capabilities
The SiI5723, SiI5734, SiI5744 and SiI5733 storage processors offer advanced storage capabilities, including drive cascading for hot-plug capacity expansion, dual eSATA Gen2m and USB 2.0 host interfaces, automatic drive locking and single button backup, RAID 0, RAID 1 and two multi-RAID modes, SAFE33 and SAFE50, without requiring any software, drivers or special user knowledge, Silicon Image said.

"The second generation SteelVine storage processors add exciting new capabilities at an extremely attractive price point," said Conrad Maxwell, senior product line manager for SteelVine products, in a statement.

Key features of the second generation SteelVine processors include eSATA- based capacity expansion that allows users to add capacity as their needs grow by simply adding more drives. eSATA-based and hot-pluggable, capacity expansion allows additional hard disk enclosures to be cascaded in "daisy chain" fashion to increase the size of an existing disk, Silicon Image said. Using currently available drives, customers can add up to 3Tbytes of storage to a single system. eSATA's 3Gbps interface ensures speedy access to all drives in a cascaded array, according to the company.

For CE apps
The SiI5723 processor is designed specifically for CE devices, digital video recorders (DVRs) and PC motherboards, Silicon Image said. It features a 3Gbps SATA host interface and two eSATA capable device ports, the company said.

The SiI5734, with a combination of eSATA and USB 2.0 host interfaces, is intended for single-drive external enclosures and external backup drives, according to the company, while the SiI5744 is designed for digital home and small office storage appliances. The SiI5733 processor is aimed at high-definition TVs, DVRs, STBs and PC motherboards, Silicon Image said.

All four new SteelVine processors are generally available now and cost less than $5 per unit in volume, Silicon Image said.

- Dylan McGrath
EE Times

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