Vitesse Supports Large Storage Enclosures with High-density Offerings

10/21/2004 - Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: VTSS) delivers on its promise to enable large Serial Attached SCSI storage subsystems and enterprise servers, with the introduction of three new high-density members to its world-class NexSASTM family of Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) Expanders. With the 18-port VSC7155, 24-port VSC7153, and 36-port VSC7154, Vitesse is the first to deliver working silicon that can triple the connectivity available for enclosure applications while simultaneously reducing OEM development costs in SAS. Vitesse now provides the highest density and broadest range of SAS expander products (based on a common hardware and firmware architecture) in the market today – servicing both server and storage enclosure applications.

Serial attached SCSI is the evolutionary replacement for parallel SCSI, supporting diverse applications in Enterprise storage including JBODs, NAS, RAID subsystems, mid-line and near-line storage facilities, and fixed-content storage systems. With a tremendous increase in port density enabled by the new NexSAS devices, OEMs are now able to build high-capacity, cost-effective storage subsystems as well increase overall system availability and performance through redundancy and link aggregation schemes enabled by the technology. The NexSAS expander architecture also enables OEMs to support both high levels of transaction processing (i.e., Serial Attached SCSI drives) and raw storage capacity (i.e., Serial ATA drives) in the same box.

“The VSC7153 and VSC7154 deliver on the scalability supported by the Serial Attached SCSI protocol, which we have been developing in conjunction with other key storage industry players,” said Javier Izquierdo, director of Server Storage at Hewlett-Packard in Houston. “Devices like the VSC7153 and the VSC7154 will help enable OEMs and solutions providers to deliver on the flexibility and scalability demanded by customers.”

Integrated Enclosure Management and Superior I/O
The new VSC7153, VSC7154, and VSC7155 expanders are fully integrated devices. On-chip, self-configuring 1.5/3.0 Gbps PHYs and a robust enclosure processor eliminate the need for external components and ease design constraints while conserving board space and power. The NexSAS expanders all employ Vitesse's leading-edge equalization (EQ) technology which provides superior signal processing capabilities through programmable edge rate control, multiple levels of input signal equalization, output pre-emphasis, and output de-emphasis, resulting in better performance for both in- and out-of-box applications (i.e., rack-to-rack, across rooms, or within a datacenter). Each SAS PHY supports automatic port speed detection/negotiation and can be configured into wide ports of any size.

Key to product scalability is the embedded v3000 CPU (Stanford-1 32-bit RISC), which brings enclosure management directly onto the expander and supports firmware developed for all of the Vitesse Enclosure Management processors, including those specifically targeting Fibre Channel, SCSI, IPMI, and SATA – maximizing OEM firmware reuse and accelerating time-to-market. An SSP (Serial SCSI Protocol) engine handles SES (SCSI Enclosure Services) commands in-band, reducing both response latency and contention with data traffic. Backed by an intuitive API, the engine is programmable by OEMs, enabling them to introduce product-differentiating features, such as sophisticated zoning mechanisms, to quickly interface to off-the-shelf or proprietary network management software or to simply get to market faster with turnkey software. Because the NexSAS family is based on a common software and hardware architecture, OEMs can effortlessly scale designs across port densities and applications while leveraging existing software and firmware.

“Vitesse continues to lead and shape the development and deployment of SAS as the serial storage architecture of choice by being the first to provide high-density connectivity solutions for the enclosure space,” said Bob Cutter, vice president and general manager of the Storage Products Division at Vitesse. “By integrating the enclosure management function within the SAS expander and providing the industry’s most diverse PHY counts, Vitesse has fulfilled its promise to enable its OEM partners to cost-effectively build the large storage sub-systems and servers their enterprise and network storage customers are demanding.”

Availability and Pricing
The new NexSAS devices are sampling to alpha customers today. The 18-port VSC7155 comes in a 448-pin TEBGA, while the 24-port VSC7153 and 36-port VSC7154 come in 486-pin and 564-pin TSBGAs, respectively. Volume pricing per unit for the VSC7153 is $42 USD, $63 USD for the VSC7154, and $32 USD for the VSC7155. Volume production is slated for the first quarter of 2005.

First disclosures will be made at the Network Systems Design Conference (NSDC) October 19 - 21, 2004, in San Jose, Calif.

About Vitesse Storage Products Division
For over two decades, the Storage Products Division at Vitesse has delivered state-of-the-art IC solutions for enterprise storage and storage networking applications. With emphasis on the development of advanced disk array intelligence, high-performance interconnect, and enclosure management devices for Fibre Channel, Serial Attached SCSI, and Serial ATA, the Vitesse portfolio stands second to none for enterprise applications. Vitesse components are used in a wide array of products from industry leading OEMs including Adaptec, Brocade, Dell Computer, EMC, Emulex, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, Engenio Information Technologies, Sun Microsystems, and others.

About Vitesse
Vitesse designs, develops, and markets a diverse portfolio of high-performance, cost-competitive semiconductor solutions for communications and storage networks worldwide. Engineering excellence and dedicated customer service distinguish Vitesse as an industry leader in Gigabit Ethernet LAN, Ethernet-over-SONET, Advanced Switching, Fibre Channel, Serial Attached SCSI, Optical Transport, and other applications. Vitesse innovation empowers customers to deliver superior products for Enterprise, Access, Metro, and Core applications. Additional company and product information is available at

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