Broadcom has developed what it claims is the industry’s first SAS/SATA RAID-on-Chip (RoC) device targeted at volume server and workstation markets.

The BCM8603 RAID-on-Chip device integrates several functions that previously existed only as discrete components. It includes Eight 3 Gigabit per second (GB/s) SAS/SATA-II I/O controller ports, a choice of PCI Express and PCI-X host interfaces (with an integrated bridging option) and an Embedded MIPS processor to run RAID firmware including Broadcom’s popular XelCore RAID software stack.

The new device also sports RAID5 hardware acceleration logic to increase performance and a double data rate memory controller.

Serial Attached SCSI, or SAS is initially expected to start replacing SCSI this year, with wide adoption expected in 2006, according to a number of leading market research firms. A driving factor behind this transition is the parallel interconnect limitations associated with SCSI technology and its effect on design, performance and scalability.

Unlike SCSI, SAS is a serial interconnect technology that incorporates high-performance, point-to-point links.

The Broadcom BCM8603 and associated PCI Express/PCI-X reference boards are currently available to early access customers. Pricing is available upon request.