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Intel to sell LSI Nytro MegaRAID PCIe flash cards

LSI and Intel extend OEM agreement for PCIe flash; Intel to offer LSI's Nytro MegaRAID PCIe cards with two Intel RAID SSD cache controllers.

LSI Corp. and Intel Corp. today expanded their OEM partnership to include the LSI Nytro MegaRAID PCI Express flash card. Intel will sell the server-side flash device with two of its RAID solid-state drive storage cache controllers.

LSI's Nytro MegaRAID PCI Express cards sit in the server PCIe slots to accelerate storage directly attached to the server. Intel previously offered LSI MegaRAID controller cards for SATA, SAS or solid-state application acceleration with RAID-on-chip data protection technology. Nytro MegaRAID cards add on-board NAND flash, SandForce flash storage processors and intelligent caching for faster application acceleration. LSI acquired flash controller chip vendor SandForce in October 2011.

"It's our ability with Nytro MegaRAID to use a relatively small amount of flash and get tremendous acceleration on the disk drive that is allowing us to broaden how we are going to the marketplace," said Gary Smerdon, LSI's senior vice president and general manager of the Accelerated Solutions Division.

Intel will offer 256 GB and 1 TB Nytro MegaRAID cards in its RAID SSD RCS25ZB040 and RCS25ZB040LX cache controllers exclusively through its Enterprise Platforms and Services Division.

Joseph Unsworth, a Gartner Inc. research vice president for NAND flash and SSDs, said the extended OEM partnership with Intel will broaden LSI's global presence through Intel's extensive channel network. LSI sells mainly through OEM partners, but it did establish a channel program for its Nytro products in June 2012.

"This is a fairly big deal for LSI," Unsworth wrote in an email message to "We don't typically see Intel leverage other vendors too often."

The LSI Nytro PCIe acceleration product family was introduced in April 2012. It includes Nytro WarpDrive for primary storage, Nytro XD for host-based caching and Nytro MegaRAID for DAS acceleration.

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