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The consortium responsible for development of Serial ATA interface development has announced a new version of the standard that is used to connect the vast majority of hard disk drives (HDDs) to appropriate controllers. The new spec is mainly aimed at mobile computers and has chances to allow making smaller and more advanced machines without using proprietary technologies.

The updated specification combines the previously published Serial ATA revision 2.5 material with new feature definitions and enhancements that will enable developers to integrate the technology into new applications, particularly, mobile and small form-factor ones.

The new Serial ATA revision 2.5 defines internal slimline cable and connector, which should help to integrate optical drives into smaller systems, Serial ATA connector for 1.8” form-factor hard drives and mini-SATA internal/external multilane cable and connector, which provides access for internal use in high bandwidth backplane designs, and also external uses in eSATA or xSATA protocols for high bandwidth external storage enclosures.

In addition, the Serial ATA International Organization (Serial ATA IO) has updated two protocol-related technologies: Native Command Queuing (NCQ), which adds priority enhancement to data and should boost performance in complex workload environments; and NCQ Unload enhancement, which permits robust use in laptop environments where the drive may be dropped.

“SATA-IO continues to evolve the Serial ATA specifications to meet the needs of our customers and the industry,” said Knut Grimsrud, SATA-IO president and chairman. “The latest spec revision defines new features and capabilities to further enhance SATA and tailor it to additional applications, including high mobility and smaller laptop form factors.”

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