Serial ATA (SATA) interface guide

In 1999 the Serial ATA (SATA) Working Group was formed, a group comprising companies as illustrious as APT Technologies, Dell, IBM, Intel, Maxtor, Quantum, and Seagate Technologies. Their aim was to form a Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) storage interface for hard-disk drives and ATA Packet Interface (ATAPI) devices. The intention was to replace the venerable, slow, and clunky Parallel ATA (PATA) interface. In spite of its success, and continued use, the PATA interface has a long history of design issues. For a long time these issues were handled more or less successfully. Some, though, persisted and over time became more inhibitive to progress, particularly with signal noise at higher bandwidths. The single-ended signaling system used in PATA is prone to induced noise, creating an effective data transfer ceiling of around 100Mbytes/second. As hard drive and optical disk technology advanced, this limit presented an unworkable bottleneck for the ever increasing demands of computer systems. The PATA interface also depends on 5V signaling lines, incompatible with many microprocessors beyond the turn of the millennium. In the late 1990s, two alternative serial interface technologies – Universal Serial Bus (USB) and IEEE 1394 – were proposed as possible replacements for the (PATA) interface. Unfortunately it took some time for these alternatives to offer the combination of low cost to relative performance that was the key to the success of the traditional PATA interface. They were also completely new interfaces, offering no direct backward compatibility for existing devices. SATA was conceived as the answer. The standard for SATA, when compared with PATA, offers lower signaling voltages and reduced pin count, is faster and...

Pin It on Pinterest