LSI Logic expands product lines

Posted on August 01, 1999

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LSI Logic expands product lines

Zachary Shess

This summer, LSI Logic continued a broad expansion across several product lines, ranging from a new PCI-to-Fibre Channel controller to security and administrative additions to its MetaStor network-attached storage (NAS) arrays.

In late June, the SCSI stalwart introduced a series of Fibre Channel SAN connectivity devices, led by the SYMFC909 controller. The PCI controller uses a custom RISC processor that offloads host processor commands and implements a simplified Bit Error Rate test to check on the health of particular links.

In addition to supporting switched fabric and arbitrated loop Fibre Channel topologies, the SYMFC909 offers full duplex throughput approaching 200MBps per link. Its simultaneous support of SCSI and IP network traffic makes the controller suited for distributed, multiple-host environments, especially in fail-over configurations that use heartbeat monitoring. This capability will also save motherboard designers the cost of having to add an Ethernet chip.

The 64-bit 66MHz controller offers up 528MBps bandwidth to the host. The SYMFC909 is priced at $110.

LSI also introduced two versions of a PCI Fibre Channel host-adapter-board based on the SYMFC909 controller. The SYM40909 board is for the HSSDC type connector for copper, while the SYM40909G includes a GBIC interface module system for both optical and copper interfaces.

Last month, the company`s LSI Logic Storage Systems subsidiary announced improvements to its MetaStor "intelligent storage hub" designed to further simplify Unix administration and improve Windows NT data security. The new features are built into JetWorks Plus operating system included in the SH850, SH7000, and SH7400 models. New access control list features enable users to set file and directory permissions from a single graphical-user-interface screen for all Unix platforms, says Jim Griffin, MetaStor marketing manager.

For more reliable and secure access to shared Windows NT files and applications, a new NT log-on feature creates a domain without an NT server acting as a domain controller. Both features are now available and free for existing customers. The workgroup SH850 system with 250GB of storage capacity starts at $37,525.

Laying the groundwork for migration to Ultra3 SCSI, LSI Logic introduced a series of connectivity devices that are also compliant with the Ultra 160/m SCSI initiative. Available next quarter, the SYM53C1010 PCI-Dual Channel Ultra3 SCSI controller includes LSI`s SureLINK domain validation technology. SureLINK varies LVD drive strength and clock signal timing characteristics as a test to find lower-performance Ultra3 SCSI systems. The 64-bit 66MHz PCI interface provides a 528MBps throughput to the host.

This month, LSI begins shipping two 64-bit PCI-to-Ultra3 SCSI dual-channel host adapter boards, the SYM22915 and SYM8955U. With throughput of up to 320MBps, the SYM22915 maximizes bandwidth by separating low- from high-performing devices through its parallel channels. The SYM8955U host adapter is designed for high-performance applications requiring high-level signal integrity and increased cable length and connectivity. Both boards will be available next quarter.


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