Quellan releases active 6-Gb/s Mini-SAS cables for data centers

April 8, 2009 -- Quellan says the active copper cables will extend the reach of serial attached SCSI interconnects to 25 meters, enabling extended connectivity for data centers.

April 8, 2009 -- Quellan, a supplier of analog signal processing and RF noise cancellation ICs, recently announced the availability of a portfolio of 6 Gb/s SAS products including mini-SAS active cables, active cable modules, based on its production QLx4600 Lane Extender IC. The company has previously validated the performance of the mini-SAS cables activated by its Q:Active analog lane extender technology at several private and public testing events, most recently at the SAS Plugfest conducted on November 10–14, 2008 at the University of New Hampshire Interoperability lab.

During the demonstration, active cables of up to 25 meters successfully interoperated with SAS devices from multiple storage drive and silicon vendors at the 6 Gbps data rate specified by the new SAS-2 standard, and cables of up to 30 meters enabled communication at the legacy 3Gb/s data rate.

The demonstration and the release of Quellan's suite of products follows the adoption of Quellan's proposed active mini-SAS specification by T10 (the body in charge of the development of the SAS standard) for inclusion into the draft of the upcoming SAS-2 revision of the standard. Quellan has developed the powered specification proposal with inputs from the major players in the storage area networking industry.

"We are very proud of our company's leadership in developing the silicon for new active mini-SAS technology that now has culminated in successful interoperability demonstrations of active cable interconnects," says Gourgen Oganessyan, strategic marketing manager and Quellan's representative at the T10 Physical Working Group. "Extending the interconnect reach of 10 meters specified by the current standard by a factor of over two removed a severe limitation in the operation of today's datacenters, while retaining complete backward compatibility with existing passive interconnects."

"Clearly this is a breakthrough for data center interconnects at a time that's right," adds Ken Fleck of Fleck Research and veteran of the interconnect industry. "The approach Quellan is taking and the technology and its benefits are impressive."

Active cables based on this standard will utilize the same mini-SAS connectors used in the passive interconnects, but they have provisions for internal power supply as well as an active cable detection mechanism to avoid short circuiting. The connectors provide keying features that prevent active cables from plugging into legacy passive receptacles, but allow active receptacles to accept both active and passive cables.

Additional information on active mini-SAS cables, modules and equalizer IC's is available on company's website at www.quellan.com.

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