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Industry Comes Together to Test 6Gb/s SAS

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Storage Technology Matures with Larger System Builds, 6Gb/s SATA and SSD Testing

San Francisco, Dec. 1, 2009 -The SCSI Trade Association (STA), a member-run industry association established to support and promote SCSI technology, announced today that the 10th Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) plugfest was held Oct. 26-30, 2009, at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL). The plugfest was attended by STA members and non-members.

Attending companies represented many stages of SAS product development, with differing levels of achievement and expertise. Anticipating this diversity, the plugfest was designed to accommodate testing for various stages of product development. Some attendees had attended plugfests many times before, and for others, this was their first experience. The variety of needs and goals was broad, as the attendees represented many segments of the market and its infrastructure, however, they all worked together to meet the needs of all attendees. The larger group soon divided into several sub-groups, each of which pursued their primary areas of interest.

6Gb/s SAS tests available to attendees Included:

  • PHY Testing
  • Pair Interoperability Testing
  • Triplet Zoning Interoperability Testing
  • Large System Build
  • Active/Active Cable Testing (recently added to the 6Gb/s SAS specification)

SAS represents a continuation of the logical SCSI command set. All plugfests have consistently provided the means to preserve existing storage investments, deliver a favorable end-user experience, demonstrate interoperability and support both forward and backward compatibility. This plugfest was no exception.
Harry Mason, President of SCSI Trade Association and Director of Industry Marketing for LSI Corp. stated, “Participation in the recent 6Gb/s SAS plugfest was outstanding. Expanders, bridges, controllers, disk drives and Solid-State Drives (SSDs) were extensively tested by existing and new market participants.”

Mike Fitzpatrick, Engineering Fellow, Toshiba America Information Systems and Chairperson of the SAS Plugfest Technical Committee commented, “The interest was high in compatibility testing where the emphasis was on testing different transmit and receive PHY parameters. In addition, various cables were used to test both the effects of cable length as well as that of active cables.”

A primary objective for the plugfest was to determine if a SAS product designed to the 6Gb/s SAS standard, would interoperate with 3Gb/s SAS devices, new and existing SATA devices (1.5, 3.0 and 6Gb/s speeds), as well as other 6Gb/s SAS products. The tests focused on three major areas: 6Gb/s SAS compatibility, PHY-level testing and zoning support. For the first time, SSDs, SATA HDDs and SAS HDDs were intermixed and tested for interoperability in large topologies.

The large-system build consisted of interconnecting multiple initiators which were communicating through a layer of networked expanders. For this test, different zones were set up and different initiators were assigned to combinations of drives which were assigned to different zones.

Companies attending the October, 2009 plugfest, several of which were non-member participants, included:

Agilent Technologies Maxim Integrated Products
Amphenol Corp. Molex Inc.
Emulex Pliant Technology
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies PMC-Sierra Inc.
Hewlett-Packard SANBlaze Technology Inc.
Intel Corp. Seagate Technology
Intersil Corp. Tektronix
JDSU Toshiba America Information Systems
LeCory Corp. Tyco Electronics
LSI Corp. Volex Inc.
Marvell Semiconductor Inc. Western Digital

Additional plugfests will be scheduled in 2010. Please visit for plugfest
updates throughout the year.

About STA
The SCSI Trade Association was established in 1995 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 SAS standards to meet future storage 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: For more information, please visit the STA web site at, send an email to or call the STA office at 415-561-6273.

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For further information, contact:

Press Contacts
SCSI Trade Association
Lea Schwartz
(970) 225-3753
UNH-IOL Contacts
Chris Volpe
UNH-IOL Public Relations Manager
(603) 862-4349
David Woolf
SAS Test Engineer
(603) 862-4349