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LSI RAIDs and GigaBlazes the Storage Sector

LSI Logic Monday released two advancements that can be applied to Internet-connected disk storage devices.

The Milpitas, Calif.-based company said it has launched LSI53C1035 Ultra320 SCSI RAID controller, a second generation single-chip-based RAID product that combines Fusion-MPT architecture and the MegaRAID software RAID stack.

Because of the advancements LSI said it is also developing a single-chip RAID-on-Motherboard (ROMB) product along with corresponding RAID adapter devices. The company, which has been bolstering its RAID devices said it will demonstrate the new LSI53C1035 at the Intel Developers forum this month in Taiwan and Japan with MegaRAID firmware running RAID 5 data protection across four drives.

RAID , or Redundant Array of Independent (or Inexpensive) Disks, is a category of disk drives that use two or more drives in combination for fault tolerance and performance and are disk drives that are primarily used on servers. LSI said the new product will help prevent disk failure and help rebuild the storage devices' logical volume.

"The critical need for redundant data at all levels of the storage marketplace has led LSI Logic to pursue a completely integrated, single-chip-based RAID solution that supports the high performance PCI-X bus architecture as well as LSI Logic's innovative Ultra320 SCSI and MegaRAID feature sets," said LSI RAID Storage Adapters Division vice president and general manager Phil Bullinger.

The LSI53C1035 Ultra320 SCSI RAID controller uses three ARM9 RISC processors to free the host CPU for other processing activities and to control all RAID functions and features a high-speed DDR SDRAM interface and a hardware XOR engine for parity calculations.

The embedded Ultra320 MegaRAID software delivers a common RAID software base and utilities across all IOP-based products (SCSI, SAS/SATA), which offers a single interface and interoperability with most other devices.

Three RAID storage adapters will be produced for the new controller: the single-channel MegaRAID SCSI 320-1XR, and the dual-channel MegaRAID SCSI 320-2XR PCI for servers and the dual-channel MegaRAID SCSI 320-2XRWS for workstations.

LSI Monday also released two low power GigaBlaze transceiver cores in the company's Gflx 0.11-micron technology. Offered as x1 and x4 hard macros, both cores are designed for high-speed interconnect applications in the storage and computing markets.

The company said the cell-based CMOS cores can be used to support a wide variety of applications, such as Serial ATA, Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), Fibre Channel, PCI Express, 10-Gigabit Ethernet (XAUI), InfiniBand and proprietary backplane interconnects.

The GigaBlaze x4 core, multi-lane ports, used in PCI Express and 10-Gigabit Fibre Channel, are easily incorporated onto a single chip. The company said its GigaBlaze x1 core (one SerDes in a single hard macro) is best used for applications that require only one or two SerDes such as Fibre Channel disk drives or host bus adapters.

"Offering two flavors of the GigaBlaze core means our customers have maximum flexibility in addressing the high-speed, low power requirements for today's ever-increasing bandwidth needs," said LSI Storage and Computing ASICs Division vice president and general manager Dave Jones.

The cores are part of the company's multi-gigabit Serializer/Deserializer (SerDes) capability strategy and are part of the LSI Logic CoreWare design program, an extensive library of pre-designed and pre-verified cores that can be easily integrated with customer-designed logic.

Jones said customer designs with the LSI Logic GigaBlaze Gflx transceiver cores are already underway.