Why Standards Matter

March 13, 2015

Author: Jeremiah TusseyTower

We may not think about them often, but technical standards impact most aspects of our daily lives. Gasoline refined in California will work in a car engine built in Japan. Your phone charger plugs into an outlet in your office just as easily as into an outlet in a hotel room. And your bank card works in ATMs in Texas, Ohio, Florida, or wherever.

The storage industry has its own set of technical standards, and PMC is actively involved in the initiatives and communities that lead to the development of standardized feature-sets. Additionally, we regularly participate in test events to prove out our latest silicon, boards, and firmware to ensure proper protocol operation in open environments.

Our leadership and input have led to cutting-edge PMC innovations, better interoperability with other vendors and happy customers.

Some of the committees that PMC belongs to include:

  • SCSI Trade Association (STA). The STA promotes and contributes to the evolution of SCSI. PMC is an STA board member, which gives us the opportunity to collaborate with other SAS industry leaders, such as Seagate, Amphenol, HGST (a Western Digital Company), Toshiba (TAEC), SanDisk, Intel, and Molex. The association’s SAS Plugfest events allow vendors to test point-to-point connections and large configurations in order to highlight weaknesses and strengths, to allow for future improvements or the validation of existing methodologies. The SAS expander tested at a recent event was the foundation for PMC’s recent 12Gb/s Adaptec 82885T SAS expander card.
  • The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO). The SATA-IO is an independent, non-profit organization that provides guidance and support for implementing the SATA specification. PMC participates in this organization due to the direct attachment of SATA devices to PMC SAS products. Additionally, we are monitoring the developments surrounding the SATA Express connector and its evolution into the growing PCIe storage ecosystem.
  • The Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG). The PCI-SIG contributes to the advancement of the PCI standard. PMC is involved with the advancement of PCIe standards, and ensures our products with PCIe interfaces properly conforms to these standards. At a recent PCI-SIG compliance event, we tested our latest NVMe Flash controller products—the foundation of the new PMC Flashtec™ NVRAM Drive family—against the latest PCIe 3.0 test standards. At previous PCI-SIG compliance events, PMC also tested several Tachyon® and Adaptec® controller products. The success from these various test events resulted in the listing of several products on the PCI Express 3.0 Integrators list. We are also tracking the development of the PCIe 4.0 specification and contributing to and tracking PCIe SFF Cable specification developments.
  • The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL). The UNH-IOL provides standardized equipment and systems for proper NVMe operating behavior and maintains a strong reputation for independent, vendor-neutral testing with a focus on quality assurance rather than marketing or promotional goals. We work with UNH-IOL to ensure proper NVMe compatibility, and directly contribute into the NVM Express Work Group as a board member.

PMC is also active in other committees not listed above, including Technical Committee T10, which is responsible for SCSI storage interfaces; and Technical Committee T13, which is responsible for all interface standards relating to the popular AT Attachment (ATA) storage interface.

PMC is dedicated to contributing to the success and vitality of the storage industry, whether it is SAS/SATA, PCIe, NVMe, or other emerging protocols. We are cultivating the industry relationships, activities, and test events connected with the various storage segments, and we continue to innovate with industry-leading products driven by these standards. This effort has ultimately led to product milestones such as:

Standards matter because they are the stepping stones to providing advanced features and dependable solutions. This constant involvement is the primary reason why PMC is the semiconductor and software solutions innovator transforming networks that connect, move and store big data.

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