SATA 3.0 spec cleared, doubles drive data speed

New specification does 6Gbit/sec. transfers, backward compatible with earlier SATA

The Serial ATA International Organization today released the SATA Revision 3.0 specification, which doubles data transfer speeds from 3Gbit/sec. to 6Gbit/sec.

The specification (PDF document) was originally introduced last August, but has since been going through a comment stage of development. Now vendors are free to implement the specification in products, including hard-disk drives and solid-state disk storage devices.

John Rydning, research director for hard-disk drives at IDC, said the new SATA Revision 3.0 specification will help to solidify SATA as the predominant storage device interface technology for the foreseeable future.

According to IDC, more than 1.1 billion SATA hard drives shipped from 2001 through 2008, and SATA captured more than 98% of internal drive shipments last year.

The new specification, which is backward compatible with earlier SATA implementations, also includes a new native command queuing streaming command for isochronous data transfers between audio and video applications, and the Low Insertion Force connector for more compact 1.8-inch storage devices. It also supports connectors designed to accommodate 7mm optical disk drives, to allow for thinner and lighter notebooks.

Knut Grimsrud, SATA-IO president and Intel Fellow and director of storage architecture, said that by doubling the data transfer rates, the new specification paves the way for a new generation of faster serial ATA products.

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Lucas Mearian

Computerworld
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