PMC-Sierra Announces Quad 8Gbit/s Fibre Channel Controller for High-Performance Storage Systems

SANTA CLARA, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—December 10, 2007— PMC-Sierra, Inc. (Nasdaq: PMCS) today announced the PM8032 Tachyon(R) QE8 Fibre Channel protocol controller to enable a new class of networked storage systems. Storage networks are moving to 8Gbit/s connectivity to remove bandwidth bottlenecks created by data consolidation through virtualization and the explosion in Web 2.0 fixed content storage. PMC-Sierra's Tachyon QE8 specifically addresses these new applications and system requirements by doubling the performance of existing solutions and adding a host of advanced features, including PCI-Express 2.0 Gen-II, Multiple Outbound Read Requests and advanced 8Gbit/s serial link monitoring. The Tachyon QE8 is fully interoperable with PMC-Sierra's family of 4Gbit/s Fibre Channel products, enabling the industry's leading storage OEMs to increase performance, decrease power and preserve years of software investment. The Tachyon QE8 can also be combined with PMC-Sierra's industry-leading SAS/SATA protocol controllers and expanders to enable our customers to deliver a broad range of high-performance, tiered-storage system solutions (Figure 1).

"Fibre Channel is the industry mainstay of storage-area networking infrastructure and the emergence of virtualization is accelerating SAN adoption at an unprecedented rate," said Mark Stibitz, vice president and general manager of PMC-Sierra's Enterprise Storage Division. "PMC-Sierra worked closely with the industry's leading storage OEMs to deliver an 8Gbit/s solution that exceeds the performance and advanced feature requirements for their next-generation storage networks."

The Tachyon QE8 combines four ports of 8Gbit/s Fibre Channel with eight lanes of 5Gbit/s PCIe 2.0 bandwidth, enabling unsurpassed levels of performance for networked storage (see Figure 2). In addition, the QE8 leverages an industry-proven Tachyon State Machine architecture that combines low latency with a high level of system performance and scalability. PMC-Sierra provides a comprehensive Tachyon Software Development kit (TSDK), including source code and drivers, to significantly reduce firmware development time and accelerate time to market.

The Tachyon QE8 supports four channels of 8Gbit/s data transfer, achieves up to 6.4GByte/s throughput and greater than 1.4 million I/Os per second (IOPS) performance. The QE8 integrates a host of advance features, including:

-- Native eight-lane PCI-Express 2.0 Gen-II 5Gbit/s bus;

-- Multi-DMA to enable system cache mirroring with minimal CPU overhead;

-- Frame steering for hardware assisted virtualization;

-- Multi-CPU support to extend processor scalability and to allow special frame handling within a single Fibre Channel port;

-- Support for the T-10 Standard "Protection Information" via ADIF (Advanced Data Integrity Field) to ensure complete integrity in the I/O data path;

-- State Machine architecture for lowest latency, highest performance with the lowest power requirements: approximately 2W per channel;

-- Industry-standard N_PortID Virtualization;

-- PMC-Sierra's advanced 8Gbit/s SERDES features for enhanced debugging and troubleshooting, reducing system qualification times; and

-- Multiple outstanding PCI-Express request technology to optimize PCI-Express bus utilization, especially for systems with long memory latencies.

The Tachyon Software Development Kit (TSDK) encapsulates the Fibre Channel protocol behind an architected Application Programming Interface (API). A consistent interface across all Tachyon devices simplifies management of all chip-specific controls. The Tachyon Transport Independent Software Architecture (TISA) enables OEMs to leverage software development across PMC-Sierra's Fibre Channel and SAS/SATA products.


The PM8032 Tachyon QE8 device will be available in Q108 in a lead-free 480-pin FC PBGA package using 90-nanometer CMOS technology. For more information, please visit or contact PMC-Sierra at

About PMC-Sierra's Storage Products

PMC-Sierra is a leading provider of enterprise storage system solutions for networked (SAN/NAS) and server storage applications, with a broad portfolio of Fibre Channel and SAS/SATA protocol controllers, RAID controllers and disk interconnect products. PMC-Sierra's Tachyon protocol controllers, Fibre Channel loop switches, enclosure management controllers and maxSAS(TM) expander switches and multiplexers provide the most comprehensive solution for enterprise-class storage systems. Together, these products are providing end-to-end semiconductor and software solutions to the industry's leading storage OEMs and ODMs. For more information, visit

About PMC-Sierra

PMC-Sierra(TM) is a leading provider of broadband communications and storage semiconductors for metro, access, fiber to the home, wireless infrastructure, storage, laser printers, and fiber access gateway equipment. PMC-Sierra offers worldwide technical and sales support, including a network of offices throughout North America, Europe, Israel and Asia. The company is publicly traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the PMCS symbol. For more information, visit


Figure 1: Enabling Fibre Channel and SAS Enterprise Storage Systems

Figure 2: PM8032 Tachyon QE8 Block Diagram

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(C) Copyright PMC-Sierra, Inc. 2007. All rights reserved. PMC and Tachyon are registered trademarks of PMC-Sierra, Inc. in the United States and other countries. PMC-SIERRA, PMCS, maxSAS and "Enabling connectivity. Empowering people." are trademarks of PMC-Sierra, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.


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