Hitachi and Agilent Complete 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel Interoperability Test

9/23/2004 - Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) and Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) announced the results of a successful 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop (FCAL) interoperability test. Demonstrating interoperability between critical system components and test tools keeps Hitachi on track to deliver 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel systems in early 2005. Advancing the Fibre Channel interface standard is expected to benefit enterprise server and storage customers who require the fastest, most reliable systems for storage area network, file sharing, workgroup and scientific/engineering environments.

Design engineers established a 4 Gb/s FCAL connection between Agilent's Tachyon DX4+ PCI-X and Tachyon QX4 PCI Express Fibre Channel controllers and a Hitachi 4 Gb/s hard disk drive prototype. Commands and data were successfully transmitted between the two devices through Agilent's 4 Gb/s SFP fiber-optic transceivers and 22-port, 4 Gb/s FCAL switch. During the process, it was verified that Agilent's 4 Gb/s SAN tester successfully coexists with the Hitachi drive in the FC arbitrated loop. The companies will continue to exchange hardware and jointly test products to gain additional technology insights and set new performance benchmarks.

"The Hitachi-Agilent demonstration will have a significant industry impact and may help accelerate the delivery of systems that incorporate the new interface standard," said Fumio Kugiya, general manager, Server Business Unit, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "Being first with this development milestone underscores Hitachi's commitment as a technology innovator and performance leader."

"We are pleased to demonstrate with Hitachi the industry's first interoperability of 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel system components," said Martin Scott, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Input/Output Solutions Division. "Our broad portfolio of Fibre Channel building blocks and test solutions is helping OEMs usher in the next generation of storage networking systems."

The 4 Gb/s FCAL specification is designed to allow for a data transfer of up to 400 MB/s half-duplex and up to 800 MB/s full-duplex per port. This performance has been validated on the Agilent FCAL switch with a multiport Agilent SAN Test platform simulating 126 4-Gb/s devices generating full-speed traffic.

The announcement follows Hitachi's January 2004 demonstration of a 4 Gb/s FCAL data transfer between two fully integrated hard drive controllers. The performance breakthrough effectively doubled the current industry-standard FCAL interface speed of 2 Gb/s.

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. More information is available at

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

About Hitachi Global Storage Technologies
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies was founded in 2003 as a result of the strategic combination of Hitachi's and IBM's storage technology businesses. By the end of 2003, Hitachi GST became the industry's second largest hard disk drive manufacturer with $4.2 billion in revenue.

The company's goal is to enable users to fully engage in the digital lifestyle by providing access to large amounts of storage capacity in formats suitable for the office, on the road and in the home. The company offers customers worldwide a comprehensive range of storage products for desktop computers, high-performance servers and mobile devices. More information about Hitachi Global Storage Technologies is available on the Web at

About Hitachi Ltd.
Hitachi Ltd. (NYSE: HIT), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company, with approximately 326,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2003 (ended March 31, 2004) consolidated sales totaled 8,632.4 billion yen ($81.4 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors, including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services. More information about Hitachi is available on the company's Web site at

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