MANHASSET, N.Y. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (San Jose) and Agilent Technologies Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.) announced Tuesday (September 21) that they have successfully achieved 4 Gbit/s (gigabytes per second) performance in the Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop (FCAL) interoperability test, paving the way for 4 Gbit/s Fibre Channel hard drives from Hitachi in early 2005.
According to both companies, advancing the 4 Gbit/s Fibre Channel interface standard is expected to benefit enterprise server and storage customers requiring the fastest, most reliable systems for storage area network, file sharing, workgroup and scientific/engineering environments.
The 4 Gbit/s FCAL specification is designed to allow for a data transfer of up to 400 Mbyte/s half-duplex and up to 800 Mbyte/s full-duplex per port.
Design engineers established a 4 Gbit/s FCAL connection between Agilent's Tachyon 4 Gbit/s DX4+ PCI-X and Tachyon QX4 PCI Express Fibre Channel controllers and a Hitachi 4Gbit/s hard disk drive prototype. Commands and data were successfully transmitted between the devices through Agilent's 4 Gbit/s SFP fiber optic transceivers and 22-port, 4 Gbit/s FCAL switch.
The process verified that Agilent's 4 Gbit/s SAN tester successfully coexists with the Hitachi drive in the FC arbitrated loop. The companies will continue to exchange hardware and jointly test products to gain additional technology insights and set new performance benchmarks.
Both companies have been active in establishing the 4 Gbit/s standard, which effectively doubles the industry-standard FCAL interface speed of 2 Gbit/s.
In January, Hitachi demonstrated a 4 Gbit/s FCAL data transfer between two fully integrated hard drive controllers. Agilent followed in March by rolling out 4-Gbit Fibre Channel controllers and switches, anticipating an industry-wide transition to the new standard.