SiI releases next SteelVine storage processors

By Justin Mann on September 26, 2006, 10:49 AM
Silicon Image controllers have been very popular in the desktop motherboard market. While sometimes taking a bit of heat for being a “budget” level controller, SiI has actually had a presence in just about every manufacturers motherboards and many standalone RAID controllers. They're expanding their offerings even further, and in a press release issued yesterday, they announced the released of the “SteelVine” storage processor. These new chipsets, SiL5723, SiL5734 and SiL5744, succeed the existing SteelVine. They add some very nifty features you typically only see officially supported in higher-end controllers, such as hot-plug capabilities.

They are designed around storage boxes, with native software RAID and redundant modes dubbed “SAFE 33” and “SAFE 50”, and all are SATA II devices. For manufacturers looking to incorporate these chips, they apparently will be extraordinarily cheap. You can read the full press release in the comments section.

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Soul Harvester said:
Silicon Image Delivers New Generation of SteelVine Storage Processor Family SteelVine™ Storage Processors with eSATA Cascading Target Home and SOHO Markets SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sept. 25, 2006 – Silicon Image, Inc. (NASDAQ: SIMG), a leader in the secure distribution, presentation and storage of high-definition digital content, today announced its next generation of SteelVine storage processors. Building on the strength of its previous generation of storage solutions, the new, higher performance SteelVine processors – the SiI5723, SiI5734 and SiI5744 – have been designed to give motherboard and storage appliance manufacturers a more powerful and cost-effective solution with lower power requirements and a smaller footprint. Highlights include patent-pending hot-plug capacity expansion that allows users to add capacity as their needs grow by simply adding more drives; dual eSATA Gen2m and USB 2.0 host interfaces; advanced data protection with drive locking; and single button backup. eSATA-based capacity expansion allows additional hard disk enclosures to be added in “daisy-chain” fashion to increase the size of an existing disk volume. Using currently available drives customers can add up to 3 Terabytes of storage to a single system. eSATA’s 3 Gbps interface enables quick access to all drives in a cascaded array. The addition of USB 2.0 host links expands connectivity options and allows users with legacy USB ports to benefit from the new capabilities of this family of storage processors. When users upgrade their systems to take advantage of the full power of a 3 Gbps SATA host link, they gain a 6x performance advantage using the same storage processor. Drive locking helps protect users’ critical personal or office data by allowing them to password protect all drives. Once locked, a drive’s data is protected from access until it is unlocked by a user-supplied password. Single-button backup is supported through third-party applications for simple and automatic data backup. This new family of storage processors builds upon the success of Silicon Image’s SiI4723 and SiI4726 storage processors. The SiI5723 processor is designed specifically for consumer electronics (CE) devices, digital video recorders (DVR) and PC motherboards. The SiI5734 processor, with its combination of eSATA Gen2m – blazing fast interface for consumer storage – and USB 2.0 host interfaces, is ideal for single drive external enclosures. The SiI5744 processor, designed for digital home and small office storage appliances, delivers additional power through advanced RAID functions including RAID 0, 1, and new modes SAFE 33 and SAFE 50 at a competitive cost. “With the new SteelVine family of storage processors, solution providers are now able to offer new security features and the ability to add storage without requiring complicated manual configuration by the end user,” said Conrad Maxwell, Silicon Image’s senior product line manager for SteelVine products. “Silicon Image continues to develop storage technology that offers end users innovative and easy-to-use storage solutions.” All SteelVine storage processor SATA ports operate at 3 Gigabits per second and comply with the eSATA Gen2m portions of the SATA 2.5 specifications, making them suitable for use with the current crop of high performance SATA Gen II drives. Software development kits are available from Silicon Image allowing OEMs to create custom branded products using these new storage processors.
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