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Vitesse Boasts Breakthrough

Vitesse says OEMs are queuing up for its latest monitoring chip. What's the big deal?

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: VTSS) claims its latest chipset for storage OEMs offers a faster, smarter way to keep 2-Gbit/s Fibre Channel storage devices up and running (see Vitesse Rolls Out FC Controller ).

"We have twenty customers waiting for this product," says Tom Brokaw, senior product manager at Vitesse (and no direct relation to the anchorman). "They want serious diagnostics for their storage devices, and performance is an issue."

Vitesse says the new chipset, dubbed the VSC120, lets storage equipment manufacturers build higher reliability into their high-end Fibre Channel disk arrays, JBOD systems, RAID gear, and switches.

The VSC120 is what is known as an enclosure management controller. This kind of component fits inside the metal and plastic coverings that house storage gear from the likes of Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ), Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HWP), and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM).

The chips are specially programmed to "check on" the storage boxes to which they are attached, exchanging low-level signals with the devices in order to retrieve data about their power, fans, security, and temperature.

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