Four Gig: Hurry up and wait

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By now, everyone and their brother in the Fibre Channel (FC) industry has announced 4Gb/sec FC products.

Among those companies are Brocade Communications Systems, with its 32-port SilkWorm 4100, and McData with promises of 4Gb/sec and 10Gb/sec support for its Intrepid line of directors. For host bus adapters, Emulex has its LP1100 family, Atto Technology its Celerity FC-42XS and LSI Logic has the LSIFC7204XP-LC.

Other vendors in the 4Gb/sec club include Hitachi Global Storage Technologies with disk drive prototypes, Broadcom and QLogic.

But there's a difference between a company announcing a product and users being able to buy it. LSI Logic's 4Gb/sec products are currently "sampling" to OEMs, says Charlie Kraus, director of HBA marketing at the firm's Storage Standard Products Division, and should be in production in the first quarter of 2005. Then you'll "have a multi-month qualification cycle" from system vendors to contend with. In other words, 4Gb/sec equipment may hit the streets by the middle of next year.

This was first published in December 2004

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