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Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) on Wednesday said that it had finally approved the Serial ATA revision 3.0 specification that doubles bandwidth and also introduces a number of technologies that improve efficiency of the interconnection technologies.

“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. 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,” said Knut Grimsrud, SATA-IO president and Intel Fellow and director of storage architecture.

The Serial ATA 3.0 sports 600Gb/s peak bandwidth as well as numerous critical features that enhance efficiency of the technology:

  • 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;
  • The SATA 3.0 is aligned with INCITS ATA8-ACS standard.

In addition, in order to simplify implementation of Serial ATA into portable electronics, the new Serial ATA 3.0 standardizes small low insertion force (LIF) connector for compact 1.8” storage devices as well as connector designed to accommodate 7mm optical disk drives for thinner and lighter notebooks.

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.

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% of internal hard disk drive 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.

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