Serial Attached SCSI in HP World Spotlight

Several vendors are using the HP World show here this week as a way of promoting the developing SAS-or Serial Attached SCSI-interface.

ATLANTA—Several vendors are using the HP World show here this week as a way of promoting the developing SAS—or Serial Attached SCSI—interface.

Maxtor Corp. is showing off its 3.5-inch disk drive, and Seagate Technology Inc. is demonstrating a 2.5-inch hard drive. Meanwhile, Adaptec Inc. is debuting a prototype of a SAS chip that can run at both 3 and 6 gigabits per second.

All the demonstrations are designed to highlight SAS, an upcoming interface that some companies believe eventually will replace current parallel SCSI interfaces, resulting in more drives being able to be packaged together for greater capacity, as well as faster performance. Officials with the companies said they expect the first commercial products to hit the market next year.

Like Serial ATA drives, SAS connections link components within or between servers with cables thinner than those used in parallel SCSI.

The demonstrations were run in conjunction with Hewlett-Packard Co. and Intel Corp. to illustrate how the technology can be used and to show their support of it, according to officials with the companies. The demos were designed not only to illustrate how the interface is better than Serial ATA, but how it complements it.

For example, Maxtors disk drive demonstration was to show how its MaXLine Serial ATA drives, combined with its Atlas SAS drives, will give users a single serial storage system in one box.

Adaptec, along with its prototype chip, also is demonstrating a SAS backplane that will support both SAS and Serial ATA drives. And it is demonstrating its chip within Seagates drive.