VIA Announces PCI SATA RAID Controller

From VIA’s news release:

VIA Technologies, Inc, today announced the launch of the VIA VT6421, a discrete controller providing high performance Serial ATA RAID. Built on VIA’s renowned DriveStation technology, the VIA VT6421 controller supports the full spectrum of PC processor platforms for desktop and mobile PCs, enabling control through PCI and CardBus (PCMCIA) interfaces.

The VIA VT6421 Serial RAID controller provides support for two Serial ATA Hard Drives and two IDE devices and combines exceptionally fast disk data transfer rates and optimal data integrity with easy installation and manageability through support for multiple RAID configurations, Level 0, Level 1 and JBOD.

Combined with one of the VIA Vectro line of USB2.0 host controllers or any other USB2.0 host controller, the VIA VT6421 supports Combo solutions, enabling single solutions with dual functionality, significantly reducing costs and design complexity. The VIA VT6421 therefore enables system builders to design greater range of Serial ATA-enabled peripheral cards, offering consumers enhanced connectivity and storage flexibility.

“The VIA VT6421 Serial ATA RAID controller provides a cost effective and easily integrated single chip package with an excellent combination of the new ultra fast dual channel Serial ATA interface, the flexibility of multi-level RAID configurations and backwards compatibility with Parallel ATA,” commented Eric Lin, Product Manager, VIA Technologies, Inc., “Offering Serial ATA RAID control with support for PCI or CardBus as well as Combo solutions, VIA shows its commitment in leading the market towards the adoption of Serial ATA Interface.”   

As the industry moves toward smaller form factor designs, the VIA VT6421 Serial ATA RAID controller offers system builders much simpler and more practical cabling and installation for improved airflow within the more compact chassis over that of Parallel ATA, while the smaller connector size reduces board real estate requirements, further enables smaller system designs.

The VIA DriveStation Controller Suite provides the most comprehensive set of high-performance integrated storage interface technologies.  VIA is driving the transition from Parallel ATA to Serial ATA technology by providing integrated and discrete controllers featuring its DriveStationâ„¢ technology, enabling OEMs and systems builders to take full advantage of Serial ATA, high-speed 150Mbps dual channel connections, while retaining support for current Parallel ATA-133 devices.

VIA and Serial ATA
Serial ATA is in the process of succeeding Parallel ATA to become the standard drive interface for all desktop and notebook PCs and is projected to represent over 90 percent of total desktop and mobile PC hard disk drive shipments by 2005.  VIA is a key driver of the adoption of Serial ATA on the PC platform, providing discrete Serial ATA controllers and integrated solutions such as the VIA VT8237 South Bridge.

The VIA DriveStation Controller Suite provides the most comprehensive set of high-performance integrated storage interface technologies.  In addition to enabling high-speed dual channel connections to new generation Serial ATA Hard Drives, it combines exceptionally fast disk data transfer rates and optimal data integrity with easy installation and manageability through the V-RAID native RAID controller. VIA DriveThruâ„¢ technology enables the hot-swap of Serial ATA Hard Drives without the need for configuration.

About the VIA VT6421 Serial ATA RAID Controller

The VIA VT6421, with dual channel Serial ATA for two devices, offers real data transfer rates of up to 150Mbps between storage devices, giving a significant performance improvement in data intensive and bulk storage applications. The VIA VT6421 supports CardBus solutions for mobile PCs and Combo solutions with USB2.0 host controllers for enhanced connectivity. 

Apart from Serial ATA connectivity, the VIA VT6421 provides multi-level RAID support including RAID Level 0 for maximum performance, RAID Level 1 for maximum security and JBOD for combining multiple drives into one larger one recognized as a single drive by the operating system.  The VIA VT6421 is also backwards compatible with Parallel ATA, integrating a dual channel Parallel ATA-133 controller, offering support for IDE devices without the requirement for adaptors. The VIA VT6421 is compatible with a complete range of Intel, AMD and VIA based processing platforms and with Microsoft® Windows® 9X/ME/NT4/2K/XP and major Linux based Operating Systems.

The VIA VT6421 is available in a single chip form with a small 14x20mm, 128-pin PQFP package. Further information may be found at the VIA website at:

http://www.via.com.tw/en/Products/vt6421.jsp.

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