By Dave Simpson
—Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC) this week became the last of the major RAID controller vendors to enter the Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) market with the introduction of the 3ware 9690SA controller.
The low-profile controller is available in three versions: model 9690SA-8I, with eight internal ports (MSRP: $895); model 9690SA-8E, with eight external ports ($945); and the 9690SA-4I4E, with four internal ports and four external ports ($925). The RAID controllers are based on the company's StorSwitch non-blocking switch fabric technology and include the same features as AMCC's model 9650 SATA controllers. The 9690SA supports up to 128 SAS addresses (devices) per controller, and 32 drives per RAID set.
Integrators and users can mix SAS and SATA drives behind the 9690SA, but SATA drives cannot be placed in a SAS RAID set and SAS drives cannot be placed in a SATA RAID set, according to Scott Cleland, AMCC's director of marketing.
The 3ware 9690SA is based on the 500S I/O controller chip from Emulex, which includes BlockGuard data integrity technology. (Other AMCC partners on the 9690SA include AIC/Xtore and Fujitsu.) The controller supports SAS expanders from vendors such as LSI, PMC, and Vitesse.
The 9690SA controllers support all RAID levels, including RAID 6 with simultaneous P+Q calculations for increased performance. Other features include 512MB of DDR2 533 cache memory and a native PCI-Express host interface.
Other recent SAS-related product announcements:
For more information on SAS, visit the SAS Resource Center, a sponsored "micro site."