Seagate Technology (NYSE:STX), the world's leading Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive maker, this week at the Intel Developer Forum is demonstrating External SATA interface technology based on the new External SATA standard adopted last month as part of the SATA specification by the Serial ATA Working Group. External SATA allows external hard drives to perform at full SATA speeds. Seagate and NetCell Corporation are showing External SATA drives in a RAID XL configuration using NetCell's SyncRAID technology with ATA protocol emulation technology, which can make a full-parity stripe RAID drive set appear to any standard SATA device as one large disc array. In the demonstration, several Seagate SATA hard drives are configured automatically as a RAID XL striped parity set, allowing a user to create a 320GB array of fully protected storage without any special host drivers.
The demonstration shows how External SATA storage from Seagate can be used to easily increase the scale of storage in terms of performance, capacity and data protection. Benefits of NetCell's External SATA RAID implementation include driverless, completely automatic RAID without using the host CPU, and the availability of a direct plug-and-play solution based on NetCell's eSATA RAID card.
"As the leader in deploying new SATA technologies, Seagate's already offering External SATA designs for external storage to our DVR and TV set-top box customers," said Jeff Loebbaka, Seagate vice president of Global Marketing. "We continue to work actively with innovators like NetCell to pilot important new implementations that could take SATA into new applications like RAID subsystems for networked home media centers."
External SATA provides a convenient method to extend the existing native SATA interface to the outside world. With its higher speeds - roughly three times faster than USB 2.0 - and its lower overall cost relative to other technologies, External SATA will be a useful addition to today's other available external interface solutions. Seagate has received enormous interest from consumer electronics customers who say External SATA drives can help them easily augment or introduce digital storage to their products. This week's demonstration at IDF shows Seagate's External SATA technology is robust and ready to deploy in a variety of applications.
"External SATA is a significant advance because it offers an external interface that can match the speed of the hard drive's onboard SATA interface," said Andy Mills, president and chief operating officer at NetCell. "This demonstration illustrates NetCell's and Seagate's commitment to driving the adoption of SATA, in all its forms and applications. At the same time, it showcases a new class of multi-disk storage technology for consumer and professional PC users that delivers high-end performance with low-cost drives while providing RAID 5-class security for data and other rich-media content."
The collaborative demonstration created by Seagate and NetCell illustrates how customers can add External SATA RAID to the mix - offering all the mirroring, data integrity, performance gains, and virtual volume flexibility options of RAID. Seagate was the first company to publicly demonstrate a working External SATA hard drive at The National Show in May 2004.
NetCell is a privately held fabless semiconductor company that develops host adapter storage acceleration silicon devices for the ATA and SATA host bus adapter, server, PC, workstation and embedded storage markets. Using a unique patented architecture for writing and reading from multiple disk drives in parallel, NetCell enables a new class of storage product that advances the state of the art for mainstream hard drive storage applications, delivering enterprise-class reliability with better performance, lower cost, and plug-and-play simplicity. Storage products based on NetCell's technology will be aimed at next-generation entertainment PCs and graphics workstations used in media-intensive applications with rigorous performance demands. For more information please visit www.netcell.com