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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop
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hardware, standard (FC-AL) A fast serial bus interface
standard intended to replace SCSI on high-end servers.
FC-AL has a number of advantages over SCSI. It offers higher
speed: the base speed is 100 megabytes per second, with 200,
400, and 800 planned. Many devices are dual ported, i.e., can
be accessed through two independent ports, which doubles speed
and increases fault tolerance. Cables can be as long as 30 m
(coaxial) or 10 km (optical). FC-AL enables
self-configuring and hot swapping and the maximum number
of devices on a single port is 126. Finally, it provides
software compatibility with SCSI.
Despite all these features FC-AL is unlikely to appear on
desktops anytime soon, partly because its price, partly
because typical desktop computers would not take advantage
of many of the advanced features. On these systems FireWire
has more potential.