By Dave Simpson
December 13, 2010 – After completing its acquisition of Adaptec’s channel storage business this summer, PMC-Sierra today introduced its first RAID controllers based on technologies from the two companies.
The Series 6 controllers (which PMC officially refers to as the “Adaptec by PMC family of Series 6 RAID controllers”) combine technology found in Adaptec’s Series 5 cards with PMC-Sierra’s multi-core SRC 8x6G chips, which support 6Gbps SAS as well as 3Gbps SATA (a capability that the company refers to as Unified Serial). Previous generations of Adaptec’s controllers were based on Intel chips.
The Series 6 controllers are initially available in three versions: the 6805 (eight internal ports), 6445 (four internal and four external ports) and 6405 (four internal ports). MSRP pricing ranges from $395 to $630, although actual prices are set by PMC’s channel partners.
Jared Peters, formerly with Adaptec and now vice president and general manager of PMC-Sierra’s channel storage division, says that PMC will be introducing cards with higher port counts, as well as an entry-level configuration, in the next quarter.
Features of the Series 6 RAID controllers include support for up to 256 SATA/SAS devices (using SAS expanders) and an eight-lane PCI 2.0 host interface.
The company claims performance of up to 2,000MBps on reads in a RAID 5/6 configuration and up to 1,200MBps on writes.
One key differentiator vs. PMC’s competitors in the channel (of which LSI is #1) is the company’s optional Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection (ZMCP) technology, which Adaptec introduced about 1.5 years ago. ZMCP provides a supercapacitor-based aternative to standard lithium ion batteries.
“ZMCP is much more secure than lithium batteries, because batteries degrade over time,” says Peters. “ZMCP guarantees protection of the data if the power goes out, and you don’t have to deal with hazardous waste disposal.”
PMC’s Series 6 RAID controllers include the company’s Hybrid RAID technology, which enables support for hard disk drives and solid-state disk (SSD) drives in a RAID-1 mirrored configuration. (The Series 6 controllers do not yet support the company’s higher-end maxCache technology.)