For more information contact:

Pat Prather, 617-937-3910 ext. 1230

Optical Access International Announces the CD/Maxtet 1600:

First 16-Drive CD-ROM Server with Hot Swap Technology

WOBURN, MA (August 9, 1996) Optical Access International (OAI) announces the immediate availability of the SCSIplexTM (patent pending), a SCSI-II processor system. The SCSIplex is an expander that enables seven SCSI devices to occupy only one SCSI address, enabling more SCSI devices to be connected to a SCSI bus. OAI's breakthrough hot-swap technology, SafeSwapTM, provides the industry's first method for safely securing all types of drives, including CD-ROM drives, during a hot swap procedure.

The SCSIplex is unique because it provides more than just SCSI ID and LUN expansion. The SCSIplex also supports OAI's SafeSwap technology for hot-swapping CD-ROM drives, an interactive alphanumeric display panel and keypad for server management, and active SCSI bus termination for plug-and-play installation.

The SCSIplex: high performance from RISC technology

OAI's SCSIplex, a RISC-based SCSI processor, solves the problems associated with connecting large numbers of SCSI drives together. Physical limitations concerning the number of units, signal degradation, and other problems are all eliminated. The SCSIplex allows 7 CD drives to utilize only 1 SCSI address.

One SCSIplex enables 7 SCSI devices under a single SCSI ID. This provides 49 SCSI devices per SCSI bus. Each device multiplexed by the SCSIplex is addressable as an individual Logical Unit Number (LUN), maintaining compatibility with most software. Each address (ID) on a SCSI bus may have up to 7 available LUNs, each of which can be a separate SCSI device when using a SCSIplex.

Performance is a key feature of the SCSIplex. It utilizes a very high-speed RISC processor and other components for optimum throughput. Because the SCSIplex is network operating system independent, it supports Novell (NetWare, IPX/SPX), Microsoft (Windows NT, NetBIOS/NetBEUI), IBM (OS/2, LAN Workplace), Apple (AppleShare, AppleTalk), Banyan (Vines) and Unix (TCP/IP, NFS) networks.

Exclusive Hot Swap Capabilities with SafeSwap

Hot swapping of defective drives is an important feature in CD-ROM servers because the server can be kept on-line and network integrity maintained. The SCSIplex supports hot swap with OAI's SafeSwap feature. SafeSwap is technology built into the SCSIplex's firmware that controls bus traffic during a hot swap. SafeSwap reduces the risk of server lock-up during swapping procedures.

SafeSwap technology is uniquely designed by OAI and supported by the SCSIplex. Before SafeSwap, there was no way to safely hot swap a CD-ROM drive. Only SafeSwap regulates and monitors the SCSI bus during a hot swap procedure to guaranty against a server crash. With SafeSwap, CD-ROM drives can be easily replaced, virtually eliminating server downtime and adding fault-tolerance to the CD-ROM server.

Improved Installation, Configuration, and Management Capabilities

The SCSIplex also supports active termination and an optional display panel with keypad for CD-ROM server configuration and management. The SCSIplex's on-board SCSI plug-and-play termination software automatically detects if the CD-ROM server is on the end of the SCSI bus and, if so, provides active termination, insuring greater data integrity and eliminating the need to worry about SCSI termination.

The SCSIplex improves the management of CD-ROM servers. By providing technology for an interactive alphanumeric display panel with keypad, direct on-the-CD-ROM server feedback of operational activity and configuration status is obtained.

Another first-to-the-market exclusive from OAI is IntellimountTM. Intellimount provides for quick and easy installation of the SCSIplex. Simply adjust 3 screws, and the SCSIplex Intellimount bracket can be changed from a 3 1/5" mount to a 5 1/4" mount.


Key features of the SCSIplex include:

  • up to 49 SCSI devices per host bus
  • host network operating system independent
  • supports most SCSI devices and adapters
  • mounts in standard 3 1/2" or 5 1/4" drive bay (preconfigured for either size)
  • dimensions: 3 1/2" mode: 1.625" x 4.00" x 6.25" 5 1/4" mode: 1.625" x 5.75" x 6.25"


Availability, Pricing, and Information

The SCSIplex 7:1 SCSI ID expander is available immediately. Single unit pricing starts at $685 (US SRP) for the 49 SCSI devices per SCSI channel version.

For more information, contact OAI at 617-937-3910 or toll free at 800-433-5133 or by electronic mail at or from OAI's web site at


About OAI

Optical Access International, Inc. (OAI) is a leading developer of CD-ROM networking software and hardware products for Windows, Macintosh, DOS, Unix and OS/2 users on NetWare, Windows NT, LAN Manager, AppleShare, and NFS networks. OAI's products provide high-speed access to CD-ROM discs in all fields of computer applications. OAI is headquartered in Woburn, Mass.

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