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SATA 3.0 promises 'lightning-fast' transfer speed

Posted: 05 Jun 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:serial ATA? SATA 3.0? HDD? interface?

Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) has released the Serial ATA Revision 3.0 specification, which promises to usher in lightning-fast transfer speeds up to 6Gbit/s as well as enhancements to support multimedia applications.

"As speed becomes critical to today's storage, the SATA Revision 3.0 specification doubles the maximum transfer speed enabled by technology, paving the way for a new generation of faster SATA products," said Knut Grimsrud, SATA-IO president and Intel Fellow and director of storage architecture. "SATA-IO members will be able to design for their customers products with the speed they crave, without compromising the quality and performance they've come to expect from SATA technology."

The new specification is backward compatible with earlier SATA implementations, and maintains the low cost and low power for which the popular storage interface is acclaimed. In addition, the specification features a number of enhancements for increased functionality. These enhancements include:

??A new Native Command Queuing (NCQ) streaming command to enable isochronous data transfers for bandwidth-hungry audio and video applications

??An NCQ Management feature that helps optimize performance by enabling host processing and management of outstanding NCQ commands

??Improved power management capabilities

??A small Low Insertion Force (LIF) connector for more compact 1.8-inch storage devices

??A connector designed to accommodate 7mm optical disk drives for thinner and lighter notebooks

??Alignment with the INCITS ATA8-ACS standard

SATA technology has gained tremendous ground since its introduction in 2001. According to analyst firm IDC, more than 1.1 billion SATA hard drives have shipped from 2001 through 2008.

Last year, SATA captured more than 98 percent of internal HDD shipments, demonstrating that SATA technology is now used in the vast majority of desktop and mobile PCs. Additionally, the technology is increasingly being used in other types of devices, including optical disk drives, solid-state drives, servers and external storage systems. SATA implementations are also making inroads in the enterprise market.

"The SATA interface has developed into the de facto standard HDD interface in computing applications," said John Rydning, IDC's research director for hard disk drives. "The new SATA Revision 3.0 specification builds upon the current market success of SATA, and will help to solidify SATA as the predominant storage device interface technology for the foreseeable future."

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