PMC-Sierra unveiled a new industry first this week, a 12 gigabit per second (Gbps) serial-attached SCSI (SAS) that enables data centers to pack more high-speed storage into their storage and server environments.

The 82885T SAS expander card is due to ship in October under the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based semiconductor company’s Adaptec brand. The new hardware is meant not only to provide system builders with flexible capacity expansion options — when linked to RAID or host bus adapters (HBAs) — but also give an edge to an increasingly popular breed of servers that are tackling “hyperscale” workloads.

The Adaptec 82885T SAS expander card is the storage piece of the puzzle that will help make a new class of high I/O “density-optimized servers” possible, asserted to the company. The term, according to IT market research firm IDC, describes streamlined, no-frills systems (CPU, storage, networking and some storage) that pack several server nodes into few rack units — cloud building blocks, essentially.

“Server density is a key design goal for data center architects, and a solution like the Adaptec expander card that enables modular designs, is compatible with existing infrastructures and can provide maximum scalability and throughput will be very attractive,” stated IDC research director Jed Scaramella in prepared remarks. Due to the rising popularity of cloud computing, increased mobile device use and the burgeoning market for big data solutions, density-optimized servers are the fastest growing segment of the server market, according to the research group.

“Density-optimized servers, which are increasingly an optimal choice for hyperscale environments, will continue to gain share of server deployments and spending,” continued Scaramella.

Adaptec 82885T offers 36 ports in total, 28 internal and 8 external for connecting to JBODs. Sporting a low-profile MD2 form factor, the card slots into a system’s PCIe slot to provide connectivity to a SAS controller and SAS and serial ATA (SATA) HDDs and SSDs (via mini-SAS cables). Additionally, the 82885T fits within the PCIe power envelope of less than 25 Watts,” boasted PMC.

“With growing deployments of scale-out architectures in data centers, our customers are looking for solutions that will give them maximum scalability, flexibility and compatibility within their power target,” said Pete Hazen, vice president of PMC’ Data Center and Server Group, in a statement.