Agilent Unveils 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel Controller IC for Storage Networking

4/2/2004 - Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A) announced the industry's first 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel controller IC. The new device, the latest in Agilent's Tachyon series of industry-leading Fibre Channel controllers, provides enhanced performance for storage subsystems, storage routers, host bus adapters and host computer motherboards for mid-to-high-end storage applications that use multiprocessor systems. It offers an easy and economical upgrade path to 4 Gb speeds while allowing design re-use for existing customers.

The HPFC-5700A Tachyon DX4+Fibre Channel controller IC provides a complete, hardware-based solution in a dual-channel Fibre Channel device and incorporates T-10 Data Integrity Field (DIF) support to improve end-to-end data reliability from the host server to the target storage devices. Agilent also offers an extensive API tool set, including sample drivers to enable new customers to quickly develop software solutions. The Tachyon DX4+ is part of the industry's broadest solution set for 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel, including fiber-optic transceivers, physical layer ICs, board-level solutions and test equipment.

"The Tachyon DX4+ is the centerpiece of our broad solution set for 4 Gb Fibre Channel," said Erik Ottem, marketing director of Agilent's Input/Output Solutions Division. "It uses the same programming interface as earlier Tachyon products, preserving existing firmware/software investments and speeding time to market for Agilent customers. We've shipped more than three million Tachyon ICs and we will continue to provide the industry's highest-performing Fibre Channel protocol controllers."

With the faster data rate of 4 Gb/s, the need to detect corrupted data is magnified. T-10 DIF coding provides this detection and stays with the data for its entire life within the storage array. The coding is inserted into the data stream when it enters the array (when data is stored on the disk, retrieved and verified) and is removed before the data is presented to the user. Agilent's algorithm is compliant with the new end-to-end data integrity proposal that has been submitted to the T10/03-111 standards committee and maintains the SCSI command structure and architecture model.

The Tachyon DX4+ from Agilent's Semiconductor Products Group, includes an internal serializer/deserializer (SerDes) supporting 4, 2 and 1 Gb/s data transfer rates and provides native support for the industry-standard 66 MHz PCI (peripheral component interconnection) and 66/100/133 MHz PCI-X (enhanced PCI) bus architectures with 32 and 64 bit support.

Agilent's proven state-machine architecture scales proportionately with system CPU resources to avoid performance bottlenecks associated with on-chip processors. This architecture provides numerous independent functional blocks, which concurrently process inbound data, outbound data, and control and commands in hardware. The result is simultaneous, parallel processing of inbound data, outbound data, and hardware control and commands to maximize bandwidth and minimize latency and I/O overhead.

Agilent 4 Gb Fibre Channel Solutions
Agilent is a leading supplier of 4 Gb Fibre Channel component, board, and test solutions. No other vendor offers protocol, physical layer, and fiber optic components combined with leading-edge signal and protocol testing. More than half of all storage-networked arrays use Agilent components. For more information, visit

Price and Availability
Samples of the HPFC-5700A Tachyon DX4+ Fibre Channel controller IC are planned to be available for selected customers in May 2004. Production volumes will be available by the end of 2004 based on customer demand. Pricing is available upon request.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 28,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6.1 billion in fiscal year 2003. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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