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VIA VT8237A - VIA DriveStation™ Controller Suite

The VIA DriveStation™ Controller Suite in the VIA VT8237A provides the most comprehensive set of high-performance integrated storage interface technologies available on the market today. It not only enables full-duplex high-speed 150MB/s dual channel connections to new generation Serial ATA Hard Drives while retaining support for today's Parallel ATA-133 devices, but also combines exceptionally fast disk data transfer rates and optimal data integrity with easy installation and manageability through V-RAID, the first native V-RAID controller integrated into a South Bridge supporting multiple RAID configurations.

VIA DriveStation™ Serial ATA Controller

With the integrated VIA DriveStation™ Dual Channel Serial ATA controller, the VT8237A South Bridge delivers a number of significant benefits to mainstream PC users, including superior hard disk drive performance, quick and easy set-up, and 'Plug'n'Play' capabilities.

VIA DriveStation™ Serial ATA Controller Performance
By integrating the Serial ATA controller in the South Bridge, the VT8237A not only delivers superior data transfer rates of up to 150MB/s per SATA device compared to a maximum of 133MB/s for Parallel ATA devices, but also eliminates the 132MB/s bottleneck on the PCI bus that has inhibited the performance of discrete Serial ATA controllers.

As is shown in the table below, the integrated VIA DriveStation Serial ATA Controller delivers an increase of over 25% in data transfer speeds compared to a discrete Serial ATA controller.

Quick, Easy Set Up & Plug'n'Play Capabilities
Setting up a Serial ATA Drive within Windows using the VIA DriveStation™ Serial ATA Controller is significantly easier than installing a Parallel ATA drive, with its support for hot-swap capabilities and no need for master/slave HDD settings.

VIA DriveStation™ SATAlite Interface
In its default configuration, the VIA DriveStation™ Serial ATA Controller supports up to two Serial ATA devices directly and four Parallel ATA 133 devices. By implementing the SATAlite interface, an external PHY on the secondary Parallel-ATA interface, an additional two Serial ATA devices can be connected, replacing one Parallel ATA channel.

VIA DriveStation™ V-RAID

The advanced VIA DriveStation™ V-RAID Controller is the first full-featured native Serial RAID solution to be integrated into a PC core logic chipset architecture. It enables users to benefit from all the incredible performance and rock solid data security benefits of a high-end RAID system, but without the complicated setup procedures that are normally found in server and workstation products and at a much more affordable price.

V-RAID supports a complete range of RAID Level 0, RAID Level 1, RAID Level 0+1, and JBOD configurations (shown in the table below), giving the user maximum flexibility in tuning their disk array to achieve the optimum balance of performance and data integrity depending on their requirements.

RAID Level
Fault Tolerance
100 %
50 %
Medium / High
Mirroring / Striping
50 %

¹ RAID Level 0+1 can only be supported on motherboards and systems where support for two additional Serial ATA drives has been added through the integration of the VIA SATAlite interface.

Based on VIA's ground breaking DriveThru™ technology, V-RAID also enables 'on-the-fly' upgrades to RAID configurations, and an exceptionally user friendly software interface for V-RAID installation and management. Its key benefits are described in more detail below.

V-RAID Performance
In addition to delivering a maximum theoretical transfer rate of 300MB/s under a RAID Level 0 configuration, the native V-RAID controller offers a significant performance advantage over implementing a discrete RAID controller on the motherboard, as it avoids the bandwidth limitations of the PCI bus. The performance advantages of V-RAID implementation compared to an onboard RAID controller or are clearly shown the diagram below, where V-RAID performs over 50% faster than the discrete RAID controller.

The performance benefits of V-RAID are further illustrated in the table below, which compares the performance of V-RAID compared with Parallel ATA 133 and a discrete RAID controller.

V-RAID Software Interface
The unique, user-friendly Windows-based V-RAID software interface makes it easier and faster than ever before to install and manage RAID configurations. Users can configure RAID arrays can do so from within their Windows® or Linux operating system in a few easy steps, without having to use the RAID BIOS. VIA DriveThru™ technology also enables users to easily migrate from a standard Parallel ATA or Serial ATA drive configuration to a higher performance RAID configuration 'on-the-fly' - without having to endure lengthy installation procedures involving complicated BIOS set-ups and OS re-installations.

VIA DriveStation™ Parallel ATA-133 Controller
The VIA DriveStation™ Controller Suite also includes an enhanced IDE controller with a dual channel DMA engine and interlaced dual channel commands, allowing for full backwards compatibility with up to four Parallel ATA 133/100/66 devices delivering data transfer rates of up to 133 MB/s.

Tech Support

If you should have problems or questions setting up or running your VIA product, we offer comprehensive technical support here and you can find the latest device drivers, as well as helpful forums to discuss and solve your problems.

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