PMC Launches 6Gbps SAS Controllers

In its first product launch since acquiring Adaptec this summer, PMC-Sierra introduced the Series 6 RAID controllers, which combine technologies from Adaptec’s Unified Serial (SAS and SATA) controllers with PMC-Sierra’s SRC 8x6G multi-core 6Gbps SAS chips. Previous generations of Adaptec’s controllers were based on Intel chips.

The Series 6 controllers are currently available in three versions: the 6805 (eight internal ports), 6445 (four internal and four external ports) and 6405 (four internal ports). MSRP pricing ranges from $395 to $630, although actual prices are set by PMC’s channel partners.

Jared Peters, vice president and general manager of PMC-Sierra’s channel storage division, says that PMC will be introducing cards with higher port counts, as well as an entry-level configuration, in the next quarter.

Features of the Series 6 RAID controllers include support for up to 256 SATA/SAS devices (using SAS expanders) and an eight-lane PCI 2.0 host interface.

The company claims performance of up to 2,000MBps on reads in a RAID 5/6 configuration and up to 1,200MBps on writes.

One key differentiator vs. PMC’s competitors in the channel is the company’s optional Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection (ZMCP) technology, which Adaptec introduced about 1.5 years ago. ZMCP provides a supercapacitor-based aternative to standard lithium ion batteries.

“ZMCP is much more secure than lithium batteries, because batteries degrade over time,” says Peters. “ZMCP guarantees protection of the data if the power goes out, and you don’t have to deal with hazardous waste disposal.”

PMC’s Series 6 RAID controllers include the company’s Hybrid RAID technology, which enables support for hard disk drives and solid-state disk (SSD) drives in a RAID-1 mirrored configuration. (The Series 6 controllers do not yet support the company’s higher-end maxCache technology.)

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