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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 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.

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.

The SAS physical layer is compatible with Serial ATA (SATA), The idea is to give users the choice of populating their systems with either SAS or SATA hard disk drives.

This evolution of SCSI technology is seen as a natural next step in maintaining the industry's most commonly used interface, and 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). The Internet Protocol-based storage networking standard was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and is used for linking data storage facilities.

Hitachi and LSI Logic were founding members of the Serial Attached SCSI Working Group before submitting the emerging standard to the SCSI Trade Association and the T10 Committee. Both companies continue to be active members of these 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 demonstrate later this year with 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.

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