PMC-Sierra has announced a new line of embedded I/O controllers that offer double the density and a 40% power consumption reduction compared to competing solutions. These new controllers differentiate themselves by offering the only 16-port 12Gb/s SAS and 6Gb/s SATA option for OEM and ODM applications. These controllers address expanding Open Compute, Windows Cloud Server, OpenStack and Project Scorpio designs. The emergence of easy-to-use cluster-in-a-box solutions and the enhanced functionality of Windows Storage Spaces also provide exciting new possibilities for I/O controllers, which do not provide RAID functionality.
The controllers offer the choice of either SAS or SATA, and are fully compatible with Adaptec's burgeoning product stack, which includes RAID adapters and HBA's, SAS Expanders, and the emerging Flashtec NVMe solutions. Two 16-port controllers, the 12Gb/s SAS PM8076 and 6Gb/s SATA PM8006, offer 16 ports of connectivity; and the 12Gb/s SAS PM8074 offers a scaled back 8-port design. All three controllers are pin-compatible, allowing OEM's and ODM's to offer purpose-built solutions based upon similar designs.
Reducing the number of components required to manage ever-growing numbers of storage devices is an important consideration. The PMC controllers can remove the requirement for plug-in RAID controllers, HBA's, and expanders. This delivers the lasting advantage of lower power consumption and reduced design complexity. Bringing these features onto the motherboard enables the ultra-dense designs becoming more commonplace in hyperscale deployments.
The new family of products offers impressive performance up to a million IOPS and a blistering 6GB/s of throughput via a x8 PCIe 3.0 connection. PMC has developed robust operating system drivers and also offers open source Linux code for custom applications. PMC also provides reference firmware and software to ease integration into a wide variety of platforms. Look for these new controllers to begin shipping in October of 2014.