HGST cranks up SAS SSD interface speed to 12Gbps

hitachi HGST cranks up SAS SSD interface speed to 12Gbps

By the look of things we can expect a doubling in SAS speeds in the not too distant future from 6Gbps to 12Gbps and HGST – soon to be a part of Western Digital – is set to demo its first SSD using the new 12Gbps SAS interface next week at a SCSI trade association technology showcase in the US. However, it looks like this is only the beginning when it comes to new SAS SSDs, as it's apparently possible to put two SAS interfaces on a single drive for double the bandwidth.

By the look of things we can expect a doubling in SAS speeds in the not too distant future from 6Gbps to 12Gbps and HGST – soon to be a part of Western Digital – is set to demo its first SSD using the new 12Gbps SAS interface next week at a SCSI trade association technology showcase in the US. However, it looks like this is only the beginning when it comes to new SAS SSDs, as it's apparently possible to put two SAS interfaces on a single drive for double the bandwidth.

HGST hasn't revealed much in terms of details about its new SAS SSD, but the company has apparently already tested it with SAS cards from LSI and PMC-Sierra at speeds of 12Gbps. The press release is also briefly mentioning the dual interfaces and talks of potential bandwidths of 4.8GB/s per drive. This would be very impressive in the HPC server market and we can see a lot of companies wanting to get their hands on these much faster SSDs.

The advantage of the SAS interface over for example going with a PCI Express SSD is that SAS drives uses standard 2.5 or 3.5-inch form factors and can often be used with existing infrastructure, whereas PCI Express SSDs have a much more limited appeal as most servers only has space for one or two drives. That said, dual interface drives would require new backplanes, but this is still a much more affordable upgrade than swapping out an entire server farm for servers with additional PCI Express slots.

Hopefully HGST will be revealing more details about its new SAS SSDs in the near future, but SAS 12Gbps isn't expected to arrive until early next year. Hopefully this means that we'll see a move to SATA 12Gbps as well, since the two standards have been upgraded almost in tandem for the past couple of iterations. That said, it looks like the SATA IO wants consumers to use SATA Express rather than move on to SATA 12Gbps for the time being, so for those looking at getting the fastest possible SSD come next year, a SAS 12Gbps based drive might be the way to go.

Source: HGST

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