Hitachi, LSI Team on SAS

Two Silicon Valley-based tech firms Tuesday said they will join forces on the next version of Serial Attached SCSI (SAS).

Milpitas, Calif.-based LSI Logic’s Storage Standard Products division and the San Jose, Calif.-based division of the Japanese owned Hitachi’s Global Storage Technologies said they will coordinate their respective product development efforts — including sharing design implementations, performance testing results, and debug information — as well as participate in other joint activities.

“Successfully engaging with Hitachi for SAS product development is an important milestone as this new interface technology gains traction,” said David Steele, LSI Logic’s director for product planning and management. “Having hard disk drive plug compatibility for both SAS and SATA will allow enterprise users to confidently continue to leverage SCSI technology’s scalability and robust reliability.”

The SAS standard defines a device-level enterprise storage interface incorporating SCSI backward compatibility, serial point-to-point interconnections, dual porting, increased addressability, and the ability to scale to small form factors. The SCSI Trade Association has announced a SCSI product roadmap that will extend the industry’s most successful interface technology to a new generation of serial devices.

This evolution of SCSI technology is seen as a natural next step in maintaining the industry’s most commonly used interface, and it will allow vendors to continue to use their existing investment in SCSI while gaining a 3Gb/s data transfer rate. The SCSI Trade Association is also working on iSCSI or Internet SCSI (Small Computer System Interface), an Internet Protocol-based storage networking standard developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and used for linking data storage facilities.

Hitachi and LSI Logic were both founding members of the original Serial Attached SCSI Working Group before the emerging standard was submitted to the SCSI Trade Association and the T10 Committee. Both companies continue to be active members of the two standards organizations.

LSI said it plans to use its Logic Fusion-MPT (Message Passing Technology) architecture to simplify and speed development. LSI Logic products are expected to be demonstrated later this year with official availability in 2004. Hitachi expects to incorporate its 3Gb/s Serial Attached SCSI-based HDD products into its enterprise storage product line as customer demand increases for the new technology.

The SAS physical layer is also compatible with Serial ATA (SATA), giving users the choice of populating their systems with a combination of SAS and SATA hard disk drives.

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