With current drives delivering speeds in the 60-70MB/s range, Ultra320 SCSI brings the bus back in line with a rule of thumb that states that bandwidth should be at least four times greater than the speed of the drive (4 x 70MB/s = 280), explains Gordy Lutz, global product marketing manager at Seagate.
So far, Ultra320 SCSI drives are available from Maxtor, with its 73GB Atlas 10K III-U320, and Seagate with a 36GB Cheetah 15K. Seagate has also announced additional 10K and 15K Cheetah drives that will be available this August.
RAID controllers based on Ultra320 are also emerging. First out of the gate is LSI Logic, with models LSI53C 1030 and 1020. Adaptec and Intel are also rumored to be developing Ultra320 controllers.
But before moving forward with Ultra320, ensure that the rest of your environment is compatible, says Lutz, including software and operating systems, cabling (flat ribbon cables won't do, you need coaxial cable) and cabinetry. "Cabinets two years or older may not meet the requirements," he says.
This was first published in June 2002