STA Announces MultiLink SAS Connectivity To Improve SSD Performance

By Editor on Aug 23, 2010

San Francisco, August 23, 2010 - SCSI Trade Association (STA) announced the Multilink SAS initiative with a presentation by Harry Mason and Marty Czekalski at the Flash Memory Summit on August 17. (See STA website link to MultiLink slides at the end of press release). The initiative's purpose is to improve how slot-oriented Solid State Drive (SSD) devices can be configured to improve I/O performance. The externally-accessible backplane slot-based drive architecture will be fully compatible for use with existing SAS/SATA storage devices as well as new devices designed to achieve higher performance.

A new form-factor compatible connector will extend SAS to a 4-port configuration. When running at 12Gb/s, a single slot will be capable of providing up to 96Gb/s of bandwidth (full duplex). Additional signals will be provided for general purpose use within the same connector. The MultiLink SAS architecture is a slot-compatible implementation and will accommodate a variety of SSD form factors as well as existing Hard Disk Drives (HDDs).

Minimizing the impact to protocol changes makes MultiLink SAS primarily an enhancement to the existing connector. It was decided to maintain the existing Small Form Factor (SFF) slot dimensions for ease of refitting an existing system and for providing maximum system flexibility for storage OEMs.

"SAS continues to evolve with the addition of MultiLink SAS, which maximizes the performance inherent in low-latency storage devices, while preserving existing storage management investments, leveraging existing SAS infrastructure and exploiting the inherent parallelism of its architecture," said Harry Mason, President of STA and Director of Industry Marketing, LSI Corporation. "Providing slot compatibility with existing drive form factors satisfies a wide range of storage requirements without sacrificing the performance required for SSD devices."

"The concept for MultiLink originated earlier this year as a result of the need for greater speed and connectivity," said Marty Czekalski, Vice President and T10 Liaison for STA and Interface Architecture Initiatives Manager, Seagate Technology. "Slot performance is primarily determined by power and number of links for transferring data. MultiLink SAS delivers a far greater number of I/Os per second, using these connector improvements, without the need to change the SAS protocol," he added.

STA will be working with T10 and the Small Form-Factor (SFF) committee to standardize this latest SAS innovation.

About STA

The SCSI Trade Association was established in 1996 to provide a focal point for members to communicate the benefits of SCSI to the industry. STA promotes the understanding and use of Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) technology and influences the evolution of SCSI standards to meet future industry needs. The Association has a nine-member Board of Directors, which oversees the Marketing Communications and Technology Committees and all STA activities. To subscribe to Serial Storage Wire, STA's free Serial Attached SCSI newsletter, please visit: http://www.serialstoragewire.org. For more information, please visit the STA web site at http://www.scsita.org, send an email to info@scsita.org or call the STA office at (415) 561-6273.

Slides presented at the Flash Memory Summit containing more information about MultiLink SAS may be found at the link below:

FMS_SAS_SSD.pdf

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For further information, contact:
Lea Schwartz
SCSI Trade Association
pointpr@msn.com
970-225-3753