Broadcoms ServerWorks division will ship several Serial ATA components by the end of March, in preparation for integrating them into its chipset line later this year.
"Initially, there has been about a 15 percent premium for SATA drives," said Kimball Brown, vice-president of marketing for ServerWorks, a division of Broadcom Corp. Storage tends to be a value-added feature at many OEMs, Brown said, and the technology may begin to cut into the SCSI market.
Broadcom will begin shipping a 4-port and 8-port SATA controller at the end of March, Brown said, together with a two-port mux, which interleaves signals from two ports and outputs them on a single channel. Currently, Broadcom has no plans to design a SATA RAID controller, he said.
Once Intel brings out its next front-side bus revision in the Xeon family (Intel said Wednesday that its 800-MHz FSB desktop front-side bus products would begin shipping in March) then Broadcom will integrate at least one of the controllers into its Grand Champion line of server chipsets, Brown said.
All of the new SATA controllers incorporate "queued DMA", which buffers up to 128 and then bursts them over the bus, minimizing the CPU overhead wasted in bus arbitration.
The four-port switch will cost $25, the 8-port switch $40, according to a company spokeswoman. The dual-port mux will be priced at $11. All prices reflect lots of 10,000 units, she said.