Adaptec today announced they have provided a sample Serial ATA RAID controller to four major server and workstation original equipment manufacturers, allowing them to begin Serial ATA disk drive tests, Serial ATA performance evaluations and backplane development.
“With our Serial ATA RAID controller now sampling, Adaptec is firmly on track to release production units available later this year in alignment with the first Serial ATA disk drives,” said Tim Connolly, director of RAID marketing for Adaptec’s Storage Solutions Group. “The early availability of these samples will give OEMs a jump start in building products incorporating leading-edge Serial ATA disk drives.”
Research firm Gartner Dataquest projects that Serial ATA hard disk drives will grow from a market of less than 1 million units in 2002 to more than 300 million in 2006, with Serial ATA becoming the dominant disk drive connection in late 2004. Driving this growth will be the increasing availability of Serial ATA host adapters and chip sets and an expanding need for a cost- effective, high-performance interface in both personal computer and enterprise storage markets.
Adaptec’s Serial ATA RAID card supports the complete feature set of the Adaptec SCSI RAID controller family including RAID levels 0, 1, 10 and 5. The controller is part of a developer’s kit that the OEMs and early adopters will use to begin development of early Serial ATA products. The kit includes four 1-meter Serial ATA cables, four hard drive legacy power adapters, and a CD that includes drivers for Windows and Linux operating system support, firmware, SMOR and Storage Manager Classic management software.
Adaptec will offer a family of full-featured PCI RAID products targeted at the market for sub-entry servers. Adaptec’s Serial ATA product line will leverage Adaptec’s robust SCSI and RAID technologies to make ATA more scalable, manageable and reliable.
Serial ATA offers several key advantages over Parallel ATA. Serial ATA’s low pin count — seven compared to parallel ATA’s 40 — allows computer manufacturers to develop systems with cables that are simpler to route and install to improve thermal designs and facilitate smaller form factor systems. The interface also enables easier, more flexible motherboard routing and the use of smaller connectors.