The TurboDisk chip uses relatively large 64- or 32-bit word transfers and a dedicated parity hard drive to transfer data quickly, in parallel, across multiple drives. That contrasts with traditional techniques of using 64-kbyte block data transfers, often done serially across one drive at a time, with parity striped across all drives in an array.
NetCell claims its RAID XL mode delivers sustained sequential reads at up to 200 Mbytes/second and sequential writes at up to 110 Mbytes/s, significantly faster than existing RAID 5 controllers. In addition, it claims it offers higher data protection and reliability than RAID 5. The chip's XL mode is similar to RAID Level 3. It also supports standard RAID Levels 0 and 1.
The TurboDisk chip offloads RAID processing from a host CPU. It appears to a Windows 2000 or later operating system like a dual IDE controller accessing a single drive.
NetCell chief executive Andy Mills described the TD6405, the company's first product, as essentially "two large DMA [direct-memory-access] engines and a cache controller." The part, housed in a 608-pin ball grid array, is available now at $79 in lots of 10,000.