Netcell Unveils New Generation Of 64-Bit Multi-Disk Raid Storage Acceleration Technology That Will Support The AMD Athlon™ 64 Processor
Single-Chip Technology Takes Advantage of AMD64 Architecture, Delivers Enterprise-Class Storage Reliability with Higher Performance, Lower Cost, Plug-and-Play Simplicity
SAN JOSE, Calif. --
NetCell today announced single-chip 64-bit multi-disk storage acceleration technology for a new type of high-performance yet economical desktop Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) system that will enable direct striping of 64-bit-wide data directly onto the disk array. NetCell’s SyncRAID™ technology fully supports the AMD Athlon™ 64 processor, and will provide significantly improved storage performance for next-generation entertainment PCs and graphics workstations used in media-intensive applications with rigorous performance demands.
SyncRAID technology doubles the performance of traditional enterprise-class RAID systems by eliminating the read-modify-write bottleneck traditionally required in RAID high-reliability mode. It also enables plug-and-play installation simplicity so users can create very fast disk arrays using off-the-shelf drives that appear to the operating system as a single, large, high-performance drive.
“SyncRAID technology takes the storage industry beyond the concept of input/output-per-second engines that work well in transaction-oriented, small-file enterprise applications, and moves us into the new realm of consumer media PCs that must get megabytes of data onto and off the drive array each second, moving large media files 64 bits at a time,” said Andy Mills, NetCell president and CEO. “PC users will be able to take full advantage of the AMD Athlon 64 processor as they create high-speed, high-capacity multi-disk storage units that deliver enterprise-class data protection with greater performance, at much lower cost, and with significantly less complexity.”
NetCell’s SyncRAID technology will provide the foundation for a family of single-chip 32-bit and 64-bit storage controller devices that the company plans to announce beginning in the fourth calendar quarter. The patented synchronous disk striping and hardware-based exclusive-OR (XOR) technique of NetCell’s SyncRAID single-chip multi-disk storage acceleration engine technology will enable PC users to combine several off-the-shelf ATA or serial ATA (SATA) disk drives into a single large, high-speed storage unit. The SyncRAID-based storage unit will be fully compatible with standard ATA/IDE-class drivers in the Windows XP or Windows 2000 environment, and will not load the CPU.
“NetCell is enabling a new class of accelerated multi-disk storage products to support the amazing performance of the AMD Athlon 64 processor,” said Tim Wright, director, desktop marketing, AMD’s Computation Products Group. “NetCell’s customers taking advantage of the AMD64 architecture will enable a variety of media-intensive applications offering an easy-to-manage way of protecting valuable videos, images, music files and other data.”
Like traditional RAID5 products used in mission-critical enterprise applications, NetCell’s SyncRAID technology uses a striped-parity approach that stores redundant backup information in case any individual drive fails and the data must be regenerated. However, instead of employing RAID5’s read-modify-write process, which degrades write performance, SyncRAID implements an on-the-fly XOR approach so that parity calculations can occur at the maximum rate of the disk drive’s input/output (I/O) for both reads and writes, in parallel. As a result, the existence of the dedicated protection drive does not reduce the additive performance of the main drives, and users can achieve the fastest disk array possible using low-cost, off-the-shelf drives. This is extremely important as disk I/O speeds increase beyond those of current serial ATA products.
For the AMD Athlon 64 processing platform, using current 200-gigabyte drive technology, a five-port product based on NetCell’s SyncRAID technology will enable up to 800 gigabytes of data to be stored on four striped drives that appear to the host as a single storage unit. Adding an additional 200-gigabyte drive for parity allows the entire 800 gigabytes to be protected against single-drive failure without negatively affecting performance. It will be possible to create this 800-gigabyte “super drive” at as little as one-seventh the cost of an equivalent enterprise-class SCSI-based RAID5 storage unit, while achieving up to twice the write performance for large streaming files.
Also, unlike typical RAID5 host bus adapter products, the SyncRAID array is designed to be completely transparent to the host by utilizing existing IDE class drivers, ensuring plug-and-play installation simplicity without requiring special drivers, installation disks or other software for standard operation. A four-drive SyncRAID 0 and five-drive SyncRAID parity-striped array has been demonstrated to deliver an effective 190 to 200 Mbyte/s of sustained read throughput, and up to 120Mbytes/s of sustained write throughput, using off-the-shelf 7200RPM ATA/SATA class drives, using a mere five percent utilization of the CPU. Combined with the cost advantages of ATA and SATA drives, this high-performance streaming bandwidth will enable high-definition uncompressed video editing, and will bring a new performance capability to high-end desktop PCs at consumer price points.
NetCell is a privately held fabless semiconductor company that develops host adapter storage acceleration silicon devices for the ATA and SATA host bus adapter, server, PC, workstation and embedded storage markets. Using a unique patented architecture for writing and reading from multiple disk drives in parallel, NetCell enables a new class of storage product that advances the state of the art for mainstream hard drive storage applications, delivering enterprise-class reliability with better performance, lower cost, and plug-and-play simplicity. Storage products based on NetCell’s technology will be aimed at next-generation entertainment PCs and graphics workstations used in media-intensive applications with rigorous performance demands. For more information please visit www.netcell.com