Marvell Introduces the Industry's First PCI-X 8-Port Serial ATA Controller Solution for Enterprise Storage Applications

9/10/2002 - Marvell®, a technology leader in the development of extreme broadband communications solutions, announced the industry's first octal (8-port) Serial ATA host controller, enabling the development of enterprise-class Serial ATA storage solutions. Using the Marvell 88SX5080 controller, OEMs can create the world?s highest performance Serial ATA storage arrays for Network Attached Storage (NAS), Storage Area Networks (SAN), Direct Attached Storage (DAS), and nearline backup. Other applications include internal and external RAID adapters and RAID on motherboard for servers and workstations. All of these applications take advantage of the industry-standard PCI-X interface, maximizing throughput to the host CPU.

The Marvell 88SX5080 controller leverages Serial ATA's 1.5 Gbps point-to-point topology, providing an aggregate bandwidth of 12 Gbps across its eight Serial ATA ports. The 88SX5080 device allows the system to take advantage of the high-bandwidth drive interfaces by providing a 133 MHz, 64-bit PCI-X host interface. This offers performance several times faster than existing Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop storage array architectures with multiple Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) that share an aggregate 2 Gigabit per second (Gbps) loop bandwidth. This shared bandwidth architecture limits both system performance and scalability to higher drive densities. The point-to-point Serial ATA architecture enables scalable, high-performance systems with greatly increased drive densities.

The Marvell 88SX5080 device is also designed to maximize system performance. The sophisticated command queuing mechanism with dedicated Enhanced DMA (EDMA) support and programmable interrupt coalescing reduce CPU cycles required to support the drive interface, allowing the CPU to perform other compute-intensive tasks such as command translation and storage virtualization. In addition, the SCSI-like Application Programmer Interface (API) enables the rapid transition of enterprise storage systems from legacy SCSI software to Serial ATA environments.

"Serial ATA enables the application of cost-effective, high-capacity disk drive technology to enterprise storage applications," said Dave Reinsel, Storage Research Manager at IDC. "The Marvell 88SX5080 device provides a critical component for the development of advanced applications such as Serial ATA storage arrays."

"Serial ATA's 1.5 Gbps data rate allows enterprise storage OEMS to take advantage of the high capacity offered by ATA-based products, while achieving performance levels that have previously required more expensive storage interconnects such as Fibre Channel and SCSI. The introduction of Serial ATA technology allows end-users to take advantage of the data rates enabled by our record-breaking enterprise read channels without moving to SCSI or Fibre Channel solutions," stated Dr. Alan J. Armstrong, Marvell?s Vice President of Marketing for the Storage Business Group.

The 88SX5080 controller uses production-proven Serial ATA physical layer (PHY) technology from the Marvell 88i8030 Serial ATA bridge chip used extensively today in HDD and PC motherboard applications. Each 88SX5080 PHY port, leveraging the Marvell XAUI SERDES technology, has programmable pre-emphasis and amplitude settings to enable high-performance Serial ATA backplane implementations. Spread Spectrum Clocking (SSC) support provides the lowest Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) levels required for enterprise systems with very high drive densities. The Marvell 88SX5080 device also utilizes the robust Serial ATA Link and Transport Layer technology from the 88i8030 bridge chip, ensuring compatibility with Serial ATA HDDs.

The Marvell 88SX5080 8-port Serial ATA controller is supplied in a 320 Ball Grid Array (BGA) package and is now sampling. The device is priced at $50 in 100,000-piece quantities. Marvell provides DB-88SX5080 development kits including PCI-X form factor development cards, software API and reference drivers, and a hardware design guide. To further assist OEMs with system development, Marvell offers DB88i8030-D device-side Parallel to Serial ATA dongle boards for simple conversion of Parallel ATA disk drives to Serial ATA.

About Marvell (
Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) is the leading global semiconductor provider of complete broadband communications solutions for the data communications and storage markets. The Company's diverse product portfolio includes switching, transceiver, communications controller, wireless, and storage solutions that power the entire communications infrastructure, including enterprise, metro, home, and storage networking. As used in this release, the terms "Company" and "Marvell" refer to Marvell Technology Group Ltd. and its subsidiaries, including Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. (MSI), Marvell Asia Pte Ltd (MAPL), Marvell Japan K.K., Marvell Taiwan Ltd., Marvell International Ltd. (MIL), Galileo Technology Ltd., and SysKonnect GmbH. MSI is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and designs, develops and markets products on behalf of MIL and MAPL. MSI may be contacted at (408) 222-2500.

Marvell® and the Marvell logo are trademarks of Marvell.

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