VIA announces ATA combo chip
VIA has announced an interesting new storage interface chip that supports Serial ATA and Parallel ATA on a single chip. Check it out:
The VIA VT6420 features two Serial ATA channels, supporting up to 4 devices, as well as one Parallel ATA channel supporting up to two devices. For even more flexibility, the VIA VT6420 has a SATALITE Interface which, when paired with a single Silicon Image Sil3012 external PHY chip, adds 2 more SATA channels at very low cost. The VIA VT6420 will be demonstrated at the upcoming CeBIT 2003 in Hannover, Germany.
The hope is that this new chip's support for the older Parallel ATA standard will help ease users into Serial ATA. To me, it seems like a good idea, especially since Serial ATA hard drives are still quite rare and optical drives supporting the new technology are barely on the radar.
I'm actually in the midst of some frantic hard drive benching and what I'm seeing from Serial ATA is promising. I can't get over how sweet the cables are, either. Stay tuned, I'll have it all graphed up soon.