SAS 4.0, PCI-E 4.0, Upcoming 24Gbps, New HBA’s and RAID cards, SlimSAS, My New “Cables” and the new SFF Connector: The Future Is Here, Bois.

jason huang

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Sep 21, 2019
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I got a Adaptec Smartraid 3258p-32i/e es version, tested two type of sff-8654 x8 to sff-8639 cable:
,
,
Supermicro Cbl-sast-0816 Slimline SAS X8 to 2 X Oculink (x4) 28cm Cable for sale online | eBay and (connect to the dell t5820 backpanel), all could nto find the ssd, and the card failed to upgrade firmware throught all the ways ( maxview app, uefi usb boot, cli command), windows drivers only compatible with Adaptec HBA 1100 win7
 

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Sleyk

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I got a Adaptec Smartraid 3258p-32i/e es version, tested two type of sff-8654 x8 to sff-8639 cable:
,
,
Supermicro Cbl-sast-0816 Slimline SAS X8 to 2 X Oculink (x4) 28cm Cable for sale online | eBay and (connect to the dell t5820 backpanel), all could nto find the ssd, and the card failed to upgrade firmware throught all the ways ( maxview app, uefi usb boot, cli command), windows drivers only compatible with Adaptec HBA 1100 win7
Wow, what is that? A 32i adaptec? Interesting! So even Microsemi is making some sas4 cards now too. Its good to see. I hope the trend continues.

Did you try the cable from Supermico like the one in the 2nd post?

NVME tech may not work for these newer cards yet I think? I could be wrong though. I did read where it said it was tri-mode.

I would try 8654-8i to 8x sata from ebay or supermicro.
 

jason huang

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Sep 21, 2019
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The cable tried on dell T5820 nvme backpanel, no ssd recognized,and I tried sff-8643 to sff 8611 cable:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085T1VNYF?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details
and the dual sff-8643 adapter:
Amazon.com: illombo PCIE 8X to 2 Ports U.2 SFF-8643 Dual NVMe SSD Pci-e x8 Converter Card SFF8643 (SFF-8639) U2 Adapter : Home & Kitchen
the cable pin assigment is the same with the origianl of T5820, not work with the dual sff-8643 adapter and LSI 94xx,
the sff-8643 adapter can use with the ordinary nvme cable(sff8643 to sff8639)
If someone tried to work on the T5820/T7820 nvme backpanel with some adapter?
 
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bitbckt

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Feb 22, 2022
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The ASRock Rack ROMED8U-2T also uses the SlimSAS “low profile” connector (two of them).

I’ve been able to test with the drives I have using a Supermicro CBL-SAST-0953, which uses the standard height connector. As noted in the OP, this isn’t a stable solution because the connector doesn’t mechanically fit the “low profile” connector on the motherboard.

I would be very interested in a breakout cable from SlimSAS LP x8 to at least 2xU.2, if anybody knows where to find one.
 
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i386

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Broadcom has sas4 (24GBit/s) expander ICs listed on their site: SAS Expanders
(I am curious when these will be used in new supermicro skus/expanders...)
Sadly no new sas4 raid controllers/hbas from broadcom yet .

Microchip (adaptec) has new sas4/pcie 4.0 tri mode controllers from 8 to 32 ports and x8/x16 pcie 4.0 host connection: https://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/00003270.pdf
Some shops list these controllers with an estimated shipping time of 8+ weeks.
Also microchip has a shop selling directly to endcustomers now: https://www.microchipdirect.com/
My choice would be the SmartRAID Ultra3258P-16i /e:
16 internal ports (8 of which could be used to connect to 2x px5800 for maxcache) and a x16 pcie 4.0 host connection
Product page: https://www.microchip.com/en-us/product/SmartRAID-3258upc-16i
Shopping link: https://www.microchipdirect.com/product/3258UPC16IXS
 
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jpmomo

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Aug 12, 2018
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Broadcom has sas4 (24GBit/s) expander ICs listed on their site: SAS Expanders
(I am curious when these will be used in new supermicro skus/expanders...)
Sadly no new sas4 raid controllers/hbas from broadcom yet .

Microchip (adaptec) has new sas4/pcie 4.0 tri mode controllers from 8 to 32 ports and x8/x16 pcie 4.0 host connection: https://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/00003270.pdf
Some shops list these controllers with an estimated shipping time of 8+ weeks.
Also microchip has a shop selling directly to endcustomers now: https://www.microchipdirect.com/
My choice would be the SmartRAID Ultra3258P-16i /e:
16 internal ports (8 of which could be used to connect to 2x px5800 for maxcache) and a x16 pcie 4.0 host connection
Product page: https://www.microchip.com/en-us/product/SmartRAID-3258upc-16i
Shopping link: https://www.microchipdirect.com/product/3258UPC16IXS
This looks interesting. It looks like it will support nvme raid for up to 4 drives without limiting potential BW. That appears to be twice as good as the broadcom/dell h755n cards.
even though the broadcom 9560-16i has 16 lanes, it only supports x8 on the pci bus. Same thing with the dell h755n perc card. It only has an x8 slimsas connector going to the motherboard. the dell card connects up to 8 nvme ssds. that would limiti them to only an x1 lane each! or 2 drives at their full x4.

Not sure if I am interpreting the microchip cards properly but it looks like they will actually support the full x16 (not x8 like the other cards.)

I am also not clear on the caching capabilities of the microchip card. I know the dell has an 8GB on card cache.

With either of these cards they still seem limited to a max of 4 drives. I have been able to use 2 of the highpoint cards to push to the max with 8 drives. I am looking to see if we can push beyond these 8 nvme gen4 drives and go up to at least 24 without limiting each drives 7GB/s seq read and slightly less write. That would be appox. 168GB/s or 1.344 Tbps when using raid 0.

Stay tuned!
 
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bitbckt

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Feb 22, 2022
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The ASRock Rack ROMED8U-2T also uses the SlimSAS “low profile” connector (two of them).

I’ve been able to test with the drives I have using a Supermicro CBL-SAST-0953, which uses the standard height connector. As noted in the OP, this isn’t a stable solution because the connector doesn’t mechanically fit the “low profile” connector on the motherboard.

I would be very interested in a breakout cable from SlimSAS LP x8 to at least 2xU.2, if anybody knows where to find one.
I‘ve been in contact with a couple of cable manufacturers on this, and they’ve (predictably) shooed me away.

We’re all counting on you for LP cables, @Sleyk. ;)
 
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agta

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Feb 24, 2022
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I'm also in the same boat. Would be awesome to have a pair of those cables @Sleyk

Currently thinking of buying a bunch of long sata cables and a straight Slimsas LP to Slimsas LP cable, split every cable into half and reconnect them. But even a Slimsas to slimsas cable is hard to find :/
 
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agta

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Feb 24, 2022
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Yes, but the reference itself doesn't provide information on low profile SFF 8654 8i at all. Sadly :(
 
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Sleyk

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I‘ve been in contact with a couple of cable manufacturers on this, and they’ve (predictably) shooed me away.

We’re all counting on you for LP cables, @Sleyk. ;)
Yes sir, I'm currently talking to TE right now for the slimsas LP parts, and I had an account rep assigned to me. I also have a contact over at another OEM manufacturer, that may come through even quicker, but they already told me that they wanna charge me an arm and a leg, lol.

I told them I would give them a solid answer soon, as I wanted to work on the cheaper option. Another option I have is to try to negotiate a lower origination price for these parts.

Either way, I promise I will come back as soon as I get something solid, and will post with prices and everything.

You guys have my word! :cool:
 
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Sleyk

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Ok, so I just had another email correspondence with the faster OEM. They are willing to work with me, even faster than TE, so I think we can work with them until a cheaper option comes through.

Now I had a question I wanted to ask you guys. Please tell me truly how you feel, and don't worry about any offense or anything.

Will you guys be willing to pay at least $80-$100 per cable? I ask this, as the second OEM can make these cables faster, (possibly in 3-4 week's time), but they want closer to $75 bucks per cable. I figure with the $75 bucks to make the cable, and a small overhead for me, (like no more than $10 bucks) plus shipping and all other small fees, it may run about $100 bucks total per cable.

The thing is, this is about the best price one would have to pay to get this new tech, so I can't really accuse the OEM of being too greedy, since when you look at the market for these pieces, some companies ask for upwards of $200 a cable, and even then, they aren't easy to find.

So please let me know friends! I'm trying to see if I can get an estimate of how many people will want or definitely purchase these cables, so I can give them a good estimate.

Of course, the more orders the better.

I myself would need something like 10-12 cables myself that I want to secure. I'm thinking, if I can maybe get them to at least make a good 50-100 cables, at least we would have something to begin with.

Let me know your opinions!
 

bitbckt

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Feb 22, 2022
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Given what I've seen in the market and already paid for similar cables with the "full size" SlimSAS connectors, I think that's an entirely reasonable price.

I can foresee needing at least 4 SlimSAS 8i LP -> 2x U.2 cables. Call it 5 for a spare.
 
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Sleyk

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Ok sounds good. Thanks for your response!

Its good to know you would be willing to pay around that price. I think that price isnt that bad considering current market prices as well.

I think I will try to move forward with this OEM.

The next step would be to get them to make a pair of these slimsas LP cables, and then send it out to me for testing to ensure it works, then once all is good on that front, then I can place a large order.

Will post updates soon!
 

erm_what

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Mar 2, 2019
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I just got a HBA355i and have the same problem finding cables.

As LP cables are pin compatible with the non-LP cables, might it be possible to 3D print a shim that the normal cable can fit in that then clips into the LP socket? I've never printed anything myself, but it seems like a cheaper solution than custom cables.

Also, looking at specs it seems like the 4i cable would be pin compatible with the first half (plus a shared pin) of a 8i cable. Maybe it would be possible to make a shim that holds a 4i cable in an 8i (LP) slot?
 
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agta

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Feb 24, 2022
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I also thought about 3D printing a converter, but sadly I currently don't have a regular 8i connector to check out the clearance between the LP socket and the plug if it's enough for a stable connection. Also thought about creating my own PCB for the connector itself, printing a plug for it and solder some cheaper 1m sata cables to it cut in half.
 
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unwind-protect

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Or, If you only need to connect one NVME drive, there is an SFF 8654-4i to 1 x SFF 8639 (U.2) NVME connector cable, where you can connect 1 separate M.2/NVME Drive: (There will also be the new upcoming SFF-TA-10001 Specification connector, which will be called U.3)


Single U.2 Connector to SFF 8654-4i Connector (for 1 x NVME/M.2 Drive)
Will these be hot-swap?
 
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Sleyk

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Will these be hot-swap?
Yeah, from what I understand, the protocol should allow it no problem. They are also backwards compatible with U.2, so should support the same functions I beleive. I will see if I can find any info specific to it :.)