– Semiconductor specialist PMC-Sierra is in the process of acquiring Adaptec’s channel storage business, which includes Adaptec’s RAID product line and its family of solid-state disk (SSD) caching systems. More importantly, perhaps, it gives PMC-Sierra access to Adaptec’s extensive VAR channel.

The all-cash deal was valued at approximately $34 million.

Officials from both companies were unavailable for comment, citing the “quiet period” pending the close of the deal, which is expected to take about 30 days. PMC-Sierra said it would retain approximately 90 Adaptec employees.

Adaptec is left with its Aristos ASIC business, more than 200 patents, and approximately $400 million in cash and securities.

In a prepared statement, Adaptec chairman of the board Jack Howard said that “Over the last two years, the company’s stockholders made abundantly clear that they demand a change in the direction of the company to realize value from the company’s historical operating units. This transaction with PMC-Sierra, which represents the sale of a small portion of the company’s total assets, represents that change and continues the process of moving the company away from its previous unprofitable identity as a ‘pure-play’ technology company.”

Adaptec’s operating assets had been on auction since September 2009.

However, the acquisition announcement did not deter Adaptec from plowing ahead with scheduled product introductions.

SSD Caching

Adaptec introduced three RAID controllers with support for SSD drives, and two bundled configurations for the channel under the MaxIQ banner.

One bundle is based on an existing configuration, with the addition of 64GB SSDs from Intel. Integrators can combine 32GB or 64GB Intel SSDs with Adaptec’s MaxIQ SSD caching software and Series 5 or Series 2 RAID controllers.

Adaptec claims performance of up to 52,000 IOPS, or throughput of 1.2GBps.

A second kit is now available with Adaptec’s new Q-series MaxIO RAID controllers, which include onboard SSD caching software. VARs can integrate virtually any SSD vendors’ drives in this kit. Currently certified SSDs include Intel’s single-level cell (SLC) SSDs, STEC’s Mach 8 SLC SSDs, Samsung’s SLC SSDs, and multi-level cell (MLC) SSDs from OCZ Technology, according to Scott Cleland, Adaptec’s director of product marketing.

The MaxIQ 2405Q controller ($645 with an 800MHz processor and 128MB of RAM) has four internal ports, the 5805Q has eight internal ports ($1,215 with a 1.2GHz CPU and 512MB of RAM), and the 5805ZQ ($1,485) has eight internal ports and Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection for battery-free data protection.

A MaxIQ SSD Cache Performance Kit with one 64GB Intel X25-E SATA SSD and MaxIQ caching software is priced at $1,795.

In addition to SSDs, integrators can configure the controllers with traditional SAS/SATA disk drives.

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