(Or "host adaptor") A device that communicates between a computer and its SCSI peripherals. The SCSI adaptor is usually assigned SCSI ID 7. It is often a separate card that is connected to the computer's bus (e.g. PCI, ISA, PCMCIA) though increasinly, SCSI adaptors are built in to the motherboard. Apart from being cheaper, busses like PCI are too slow to keep up with the newer SCSI standards like Ultra SCSI and Ultra-Wide SCSI.
The performance of SCSI devices is limited by the speed of the SCSI adaptor and its connection to the computer. An adaptor that plugs into a parallel port is unlikely to be as fast as one incorporated into a motherboard. Fast adaptors use DMA or bus mastering.