HighPoint Technologies, a leading designer of controllers for storage devices, on Monday announced the industry’s first Serial ATA-600 host controller with PCI Express 2.0 x1 interface. Potentially, the device allows future ultra high-end hard drives or advanced solid-state drives to show maximum possible performance when plugged to HighPoint’s Rocket 600-series controller.
PCI Express 2.0 x1 interface provides 500MB/s bandwidth, which ensures that two Serial ATA-600 devices can get enough bandwidth to connect to I/O controller of a PCIe 2.0-supporting personal computer. Since at present there are no storage devices that have linear read speed of 600MB/s, PCIe 2.0 x1 should be enough for operation of high-end hard disk drives or solid-state drives. The reason why HighPoint did not implement PCIe 1.0 or 2.0 x4 interface is because very few mainboards carry PCIe x4 slots. With x4 interface, the High-Point Rocket 600 would have offered 1GB/s (PCIe 1.0) or even 2GB/s (PCIe 2.0) bandwidth
At present there are not a lot of devices that take advantage of Serial ATA-600 or USB 3.0 devices (one external USB 3.0 drive from Mitsubishi as well as several SATA-600 drives from Seagate), but going forward more and more products will start to incorporate new interface. Currently only Marvell ships its 88SE9128 Serial ATA-600 controller, hence, HighPoint’s R600 will have only one competitor for now since I/O controllers with SATA-600 support from companies like Advanced Micro Devices or Intel Corp. are set to emerge only in the second half of 2010.
Manufacturer suggested retail price for High-Point Rocket 620 (SATA) add-in card is $69.99, HighPoint Rocket 622 (eSATA) is priced at $79.99. Both will be available shortly.