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Let's get familiar with SCSI-3 first.  

SCSI-3 is an enhancement to SCSI-2 which supports up to 32 devices per SCSI bus, 16-bit transfers on a single cable, a serial option, and data integrity improvements. The SCSI-3 specification is in the process of being ratified to incorporate the many significant advances in technology that have been developed since SCSI-2 was adopted. Although the SCSI-3 standard has not yet been completely ratified, several SCSI-3 technologies are beginning to appear in the market. From the parallel side, Fast-20 Wide SCSI, also referred to as Ultra SCSI, may be the technology that SCSI users implement initially.

Ultra SCSI is also know as SCSI FAST-20. Ultra SCSI, first proposed by the ANSI XT310. Ultra SCSI represents an enhancement of the current parallel SCSI interface standard that doubles SCSI drivers' burst data transfer rates while maintaining backward compatibility. Ultra SCSI doubles the Fast SCSI bus clock rate from 10MHz to 20MHz and transfer data over a 16-bit Wide SCSI bus to produce SCSI data transfers rates up to 40MB/second. These performance improvements create the bandwidth necessary to support the data intensive applications to be used in the coming generations of servers, workstations, and high-end personal computers. The increased data transfer rates are attributed to the faster cycle times for data transfer and the arbitration of SCSI commands.

Host systems and devices using Ultra SCSI will be able to negotiate optimal parameters for speed, width, offset, etc. These improvements and cycle times are primarily fueled by the higher speed of the new semiconductor technologies employed in SCSI chipsets.

Since the internal drivers and the bulk of the drive circuitry and firmware remain the same, Ultra SCSI amounts to a low-cost, easy-to-integrate alternative for computer OEMs and system integrators who want to improve their products' I/O performance. Strategically, Ultra SCSI is the logical migration from SCSI to accommodate optimal system performance and ever-increasing demands by users for higher-performance.

  Benefits of Ultra SCSI:
  • Easy integration
  • Reusability of current hardware and firmware
  • Reusability of current test equipment
  • Lower inventory risk

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