SSA - SERIAL STORAGE ARCHITECTURE

3/1/97

Serial Storage Architecture (SSA) is a high bandwidth -- 80 MegaByte/s (4 * 20 MHz links) serial interface designed primarily by IBM for communication with high capacity peripherals. An ANSI standard is in the works. SSA uses twisted pair and supports cable runs up to up to 25 meters. SSA promises extremely high data rates to peripheral devices using only 4 wires implemented as two full duplex twisted pair channels. SSA allows up to 127 nodes using 128 byte data packets.

SSA supports hot swapping and is designed to allow "easy migration" from the SCSI 2 command set. SSA allows direct communication between peripheral devices in addition to communication between devices and the host (Spatial Reuse). It also offers simultaneous communication between different devices over the same data cabling (arbitrationless architecture).

Industry support has been sporadic and the few experimental devices built using the capability have encountered both cost performance and technical problems. SSA may eventually be replaced by Fibre Channel Loop (FCL) technology.

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