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.