Milpitas (CA) - Maxtor announced that it is shipping Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) harddrives into OEM channels. The technology enables enthusiast and enterprise users to mix-and-match performance oriented SAS devices with cheaper SATA disc drives within one system.
Maxtor is the first of the leading US harddrive manufacturers to announce the availability of SAS harddrives. According to the company, SAS is first integrated in the Atlas enterprise drive product line and is currently "in qualification with global OEMs and system vendors." A spokesperson told Tom’s Hardware Guide that the drives are shipping in volume into the channel at this time and are likely to appear on store fronts sometime in July.
SAS is considered to advance SCSI interfaces beyond the current Ultra320 standard. Primarily, the technology is targeted at server and workstation markets but manufacturers such as Maxtor believe that enthusiasts and gamers will be interested in the technology as well - since high-performance SAS drives can be coupled with regular SATA drives that offer more storage space per Dollar.
Accordingly, the Maxtor Atlas SAS drive supports the standard 1.5 Gbit per second SATA interface as well as the 3.0 Gbit per second SAS interface. Current SCSI drives can be used in conjunction with the new drive by using an existing SCSI command set. Up to 16,000 devices can be installed per SAS domain.
Specifications as well as pricing details for the Atlas drive were not released.