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Review - Silicon Image Serial ATA Sil 3112 Controller

Reviewed by Andrew Chalfant

Introduction

Serial ATA is here, or so it seems. SATA was to be launched at the end of the summer of 2002, but only recently have sample drives been released to the press. The controllers began hitting the market since the buzz began early that summer, and motherboard manufacturers have been increasingly incorporating SATA controllers into their more featured products. Serial ATA is exciting because it promises interface speeds of up to 150 MBtyes/Sec, with designs to increase the interface burst speeds to 300 Mbytes/Sec and 600 Mbytes/Sec.

The Silicon Image card being tested today is a not a reference card, but the chipset itself is also planned for integration into motherboards and third party controller cards. Late in 2002 Intel announced that it will be using the Sil 3112 controller chip in its upcoming motherboards and computers. This means that over 90 percent of preassembled desktop and mobile PCs shipments by the year 2005 will ship with the Sil 3112 chipset, according to Gartner Dataquest. The A7N8X Deluxe by Asus, among others, has already begun shipping with the Sil 3112 chipset. At around the same time that Intel announced its adoption of the Sil 3112, Adaptec, one of the industry's leaders in RAID controllers, also announced that it will be adopting the Sil 3112 controller into its first SATA RAID card, which will be available the first quarter of 2003. Regardless of how this review goes, the Sil 3112 chipset is going to stick around.

About Silicon Image

Founded: January 1995
Funding: Publicly Held
Revenues: $52 million (2001)
Employees: 250+
Headquarters: Sunnyvale, California

 

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