Adaptec has announced a family of serial-attached SCSI (SAS) products, offering higher speeds and more devices than existing parallel UltraSCSI 320.

The company has released an SAS Host Bus Adapter (HBA), RAID controllers, and an allied storage enclosure and data protection product. All use an Adaptec SAS application-specific integrated circuit or ASIC, which is said to be the fastest in the industry with 4.8Gbit/s. In comparison, the Ultra320 SCSI adapter, the fastest parallel SCSI technology currently available, operates at a seventh of that speed.

The 48300HBA offers eight 3Gbit/s SAS (or Serial ATA) ports, four for internal use and four external. Pricing starts at £250. The 4800SAS and 48005SAS RAID controllers also have eight ports and support PCI-X or PCIe host slots. RAID levels of 0, 1, 10, 5 and 50 are supported. Prices start at £650.

The SAS transition started earlier this year, offering a way out of the UltraSCSI 320 choke-point. Hard drive vendors already have SAS drives available. The Fujitsu 73GB MAV2073RC is a 2.5inch SAS hard drive and Maxtor's Atlas 15K II SAS a 3.5in, 36.7GB internal drive.

HP has SAS product shipping. Techworld reviewed a Sun SAS server here. Vendors such as Eon have introduced SAS RAID arrays. Adaptec's OEM customers have already received SAS devices.