PMC-Sierra Enables Low Cost, High Performance SAN Equipment Design

4/15/2003 - PMC-Sierra(TM), Inc. (Nasdaq:PMCS) introduced the PM8368 PBC 18x2G and PM8372 PBC 4x2G Intelligent Fibre Channel Port Bypass Controllers for networked storage systems. These Port Bypass Controllers deliver extensive system diagnostics, design flexibility, industry leading signal integrity, high port density and low power at an unprecedented price and feature set. Leveraging the company's high-speed mixed signal, cross-connect and 2G Fibre Channel expertise, this new class of product enables storage system OEMs to develop low cost, high performance, and intelligent storage subsystems using fewer components. IT managers needing to maintain complex, multi-vendor and mission critical storage networks, will benefit from the enhanced system level diagnostics and increased reliability provided by PMC-Sierra's standard-compliant, carrier-class 2G Fibre Channel products.

"Challenges to the success of storage networking technology are interoperability, reliability, availability, serviceability and manageability. We are leveraging our widely deployed multi-port, multi-Gigabit SERDES and 2G Fibre Channel technology into storage system applications," said Mark Stibitz, vice president and general manager, Enterprise and Storage Division, PMC-Sierra. "Coupled with an innovative cross-connect architecture, our port bypass controller family is solving both system design and signal integrity issues for our storage OEM customers."

18-Port and 4-Port Bypass Controllers for Storage Systems
The PBC 18x2G 18-port and the PBC 4x2G 4-port bypass controllers have integrated Serializer/Deserializer (SERDES) and cross-connect switches with per-port monitoring, zoning and system diagnostic features for 1.0625 Gbit/s and 2.125 Gbit/s Fibre Channel RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks), JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks), MBOD(TM) (Managed Bunch Of Disks) and SBOD (Switched Bunch of Disks) storage subsystems. In a disk array subsystem, these devices interface to Fibre Channel hard drives, host bus adapters (HBAs) and external ports in a Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop configuration. These devices can also be configured as serial link retimers to optimize signal integrity in either 1 and 2G Fibre Channel or Gigabit Ethernet applications where link reliability is critical in long backplanes and cabling interconnect areas.

Extensive Link and Systems Diagnostics Improves Storage Maintenance and Reliability
The PBC 18x2G and PBC 4x2G provide extensive link and system diagnostics to quickly isolate and reconfigure the system to correct disk or link failures. Each individual port or disk zone can be configured to monitor and measure errors such as CRC32 errors, 8B/10B code violations, comma density errors and loss of signal. To isolate issues while maintaining system operation, each port can be automatically or manually bypassed. The built-in, self-test features such as the integrated packet generator/comparator and serial loopback paths provide mechanisms for robust system design and test.

System Design Flexibility with Unique Device Architecture Optimizes Storage Performance
The integrated cross-connect switch enables a unique device architecture offering system design flexibility. The cross-connect allows for unrestricted per-port zoning and per-port retiming, reclocking or signal pass-thru so system designers can optimize trade-offs between signal jitter and latency. The devices support pin configuration or programmable software configuration and status through an industry-standard simple two-wire interface management port.

Superior Signal Integrity and Solution Density Lowers Storage System Costs
The PBC 18x2G and PBC 4x2G devices support multi-level programmable pre-emphasis, receive equalization and output swing on a per-port basis enabling extremely robust signal integrity in the most challenging environments. The integrated resistive termination and AC coupling eliminate vias in high-speed traces minimizing reflections and adding to the robustness of the design. The PBC 18x2G integrates 100 ohm termination per port while the PBC 4x2G offers selectable 100 or 150 ohm termination on a per-port basis to accommodate either cable or backplane interconnect. The integrated termination and AC coupling eliminates the need for external resistors and capacitors which dramatically simplifies manufacturing, lowers the bill-of-materials and reduces the solution footprint by over 60 percent when compared to current solutions. In typical storage system applications, the PBC 18x2G and PBC 4x2G devices offer a low power solution of 4.2W and 1.1W respectively, resulting in a savings of more than 70 percent over currently available products.

Pricing, Availability and Customer Support
PMC-Sierra is sampling both port bypass controller products to storage system OEMs and evaluation kits are available. The PM8368 PBC 18x2G 18-port controller is packaged in a compact 23 mm x 23 mm thermally enhanced 228-pin UBGA package. The PM8372 PBC 4x2G 4-port controller is packaged in a 15 mm x 15 mm 196-pin CABGA package. The PBC 18x2G and PBC 4x2G devices are priced at $65 and $21 in direct purchase of 1KU quantities. For comprehensive datasheets, application notes and an evaluation kit, please visit or contact sales at or applications support at

About PMC-Sierra
PMC-Sierra is a leading provider of high speed broadband communications and storage semiconductors and MIPS-based processors for Enterprise, Access, Metro Optical Transport, Storage Area Networking and Wireless network equipment. The company offers worldwide technical and sales support, including a network of offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia. PMC-Sierra is included in the S&P 500 Index which consists of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity, and industry group representation. The company is publicly traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the PMCS symbol. For more information, visit

PMC-Sierra(TM) and MBOD(TM) are trademarks of PMC-Sierra, Inc.

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