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FCI

FCI's AirMax VS® Connector System Conforms to Storage Bridge Bay Standard

ETTERS, PA — FCI announced that the AirMax VS® 3-pair backplane connector system meets the mid-plane connector interface requirements defined in the recently-announced Storage Bridge Bay (SBB) specification. Leading companies in the data storage industry collaborated in the Storage Bridge Bay Working Group (SBBWG) to create this new specification, which defines 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, were a perfect fit to the SBB mechanical and electrical requirements,” said John Burkett, FCI product manager. “The capability to scale differential signals to beyond 12 Gb/s with the AirMax VS system also provides headroom to support future increases in data rates without requiring changes to the connector interface.”

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 standardization of the controller slot and storage controller interface is expected to decrease development costs for low and mid-range storage systems. The SBB standard will also speed up the delivery of emerging storage technologies, such as internet small computer systems interface (iSCSI), serial attached SCSI (SAS), and virtual tape libraries.

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. Data rates can scale from 2.5Gb/s to beyond 12Gb/s without requiring re-design of a basic platform. 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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