LSI today introduced a slew of controllers and adapters that support the 6Gbps SAS interface, including cards in its MegaRAID and 3ware RAID controller families.

LSI’s announcement comes on the heels of Dell’s announcement last week that it is supporting 6Gbps SAS in its PowerVault storage enclosures and PERC controllers (see “Dell boosts DAS performance with 6Gbps SAS” ).

The new cards in LSI’s 3ware line of SAS+SATA RAID controllers are available with four or eight internal ports. The 3ware SAS 9750-4i is priced at $389 without cables or $439 with cables in a “kit” package. The eight-port 9750-8i is priced at $599, or $645 with cables.

LSI claims performance of up to 2,500MBps with sequential reads and 1,500MBps on sequential writes.

In addition to SAS and/or SATA drives, the controllers can support solid-state disk drives, including SSDs from Seagate, Intel and other vendors.

In addition to more than doubling performance, the RAID controllers support 6Gbps SAS features such as self-discovery/self-configuring expanders and longer cable lengths. Other features of the 3ware controllers include 512MB of cache, an x8 PCI Express 2.0 host interface, and support for up to 96 drives.

Additions to LSI’s 6Gbps SAS MegaRAID controller line include the four-port MegaRAID SAS 9240-4i ($229 without cables) and eight-port 9240-8i ($325). Also added to LSI’s MegaRAID “value/feature” line are the 9280-4i4e (four internal and four external ports, $785) and MegaRAID 9261-8i (eight internal ports, $599).

New 6Gbps SAS host bus adapters include the 9200-16e (16 external ports, $619) and the 9212-4i4e ($309).

All prices quoted are MSRP.

For the 6Gbps SAS adapters and MegaRAID controllers, LSI claims performance of more than 2,875MBps on reads and 1,870MBps on writes.

Although the market for 6Gbps SAS is still in its infancy, market researcher IDC expected 3Gbps SAS drives to account for about 50% of all enterprise-class disk drives shipments in 2009 (with SATA accounting for 31% and Fibre Channel for 19%).