Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Chips Dip Into Serial, 4-Gbit/s

Chipmakers are clearly embracing serial disk-drive technologies, but they're also banking on a new generation of Fibre Channel.

In the last month, there have been chips for a range of potential applications in serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) and serial-attached SCSI (SAS) disk products. They've come from traditional storage chip companies, networking chip guys looking to get into SAS and SATA and startups jockeying for recognition. And this is just beginning, considering SAS drives wont be shipping until late next year.

Meanwhile, though SAS and SATA are meant to offer a lower-cost alternative to Fibre Channel drives, chipmakers are introducing a range of 4-Gbit/s wares targeting the new speed.

Let's start at the top: IDC identifies the transition from parallel to serial drive interfaces as a major driver that will push storage chips to a $1 billion market next year (see IDC: Storage Looking Chipper).

Others agree. “That’s the hot area now,” analyst Linley Gwennap of The Linley Group says of chips built for SAS and SATA drives. “There’s a lot of opportunities there. But when you’re in the first generation of a technology, they just take the old stuff and change out the interfaces. There will probably be more innovation in the next six to 12 months as everybody gets caught up in the new technology.”

  • 1