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External Serial ATA (eSATA) technology became the first interconnection for hard disk drives after SCSI that not only worked inside a personal computer, but also could connect external storage devices. Unfortunately, nowadays usage of eSATA is less convenient compared to certain USB implementations due to necessity to use two cables: one for power and one for data. But that is going to change once SATA organization decides on the new version of eSATA.

“Its fast transfer rate and efficient protocol makes eSATA the highest-performing external mainstream storage connection. Enhancing eSATA with power delivery will provide a new level of convenience to the designer and the end user. By eliminating the need for a separate power connection, customers can more easily expand their storage, making Serial ATA an even more attractive solution for mainstream storage applications,” said Knut Grimsrud, SATA-IO president and an Intel Fellow.

The new SATA-IO specification will eliminate requirement of additional power cord by providing power for a single drive directly from the host system using the power over eSATA cable. Key benefits will be to maintain compatibility with the existing eSATA connector form factor and retain high performance at the current maximum interface transfer rate of 3Gb/s.

Power over eSATA solutions are expected to be available on the market as soon as the second half of 2008, creating new business opportunities by using either a SATA hard disk drive or a SATA Optical Drive in a portable external enclosure.

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