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Press release

Etters, PA
February 6, 2008
IMMEDIATE RELEASE, FC608

FCI Announces AirMax VSŪ Connector System

ETTERS, PA (February 6, 2008) -- FCI, a leading developer of connectors and interconnect systems, announces that the AirMax VSŪ 3-pair backplane connector system meets the mid-plane connector interface requirements defined in the recently-announced Storage Bridge Bay (SBB), Version 2.0 specification. Leading companies in the data storage industry collaborated as part of the Storage Bridge Bay Working Group (SBBWG) to build on the previously released Version 1.0 specification, which defined a standard mechanical and electrical interface between a storage array backplane and storage controllers.

The 54-position signal modules, power modules and guide modules, all available as part of the AirMax VS high-speed connector system, continue to be a perfect fit to the SBB mechanical and electrical requirements. The compact module form factors permitted up to three additional signal modules within the envelope of a common SBB canister and helped enable optional support for up to 48 drives. The capability to scale differential signals to 12.5 Gb/s with the AirMax VS system also helped facilitate support for higher-speed signaling, such as 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel.

The SBB specification defines the mechanical and electrical requirements and the mid-plane connector interface for a storage enclosure controller slot that will support a variety of storage controllers from a variety of independent hardware vendors (IHVs). Any storage controller design based on this specification shall be able to fit, connect, and operate within any storage enclosure controller slot design based on the same specification. The definition of the physical dimensions of the controller canister and slot and the storage controller interface is expected to decrease development costs for low and mid-range storage systems.

The revolutionary AirMax VS system uses edge-coupling technology and an air dielectric between adjacent conductors to deliver high signal density with low insertion loss and low crosstalk, all without the use of costly and space-consuming metal shields. The capability to scale differential signals to 12.5 Gb/s with the AirMax VS system also provides headroom to support future increases in data rates without requiring changes to the connector interface. AirMax VS signal modules also allow for mixed pin assignments (differential or single-ended signals or power), to provide additional flexibility to system designers.

The AirMax VS 3-pair design provides 9 individual contacts per column, which supports three differential signal pairs. The low connector profile can be used as a means to improve airflow for cooling or can be used to achieve slot spacing down to 16.7mm.

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