Adaptec is sampling a Serial ATA RAID controller to four major server and workstation original equipment manufacturers, allowing them to begin Serial ATA disk drive tests, Serial ATA performance evaluations and backplane development.
Adaptec’s Serial ATA RAID card supports the complete feature set of the Adaptec SCSI RAID controller family including RAID levels 0, 1, 10 and 5. The controller is part of a developer’s kit that the OEMs and early adopters will use to begin development of early Serial ATA products. The kit includes four 1m Serial ATA cables, four hard drive legacy power adapters, and a CD that includes drivers for Windows and Linux operating system support, firmware, SMOR and Storage Manager Classic management software.
Serial ATA offers several key advantages over Parallel ATA. Serial ATA’s low pin count – seven compared to parallel ATA’s 40 – allows computer manufacturers to develop systems with cables that are simpler to route and install. The interface also enables easier, more flexible motherboard routing and the use of smaller connectors.
Research firm Gartner Dataquest projects that Serial ATA hard disk drives will grow from a market of less than 1 million units in 2002 to more than 300 million in 2006, with Serial ATA becoming the dominant disk drive connection in late 2004.