External Serial ATA (eSATA), a dedicated storage interface found in PCs, external hard disk drives and set-top boxes, faces strong competitive alternatives, reports In-Stat high-tech market research firm. In particular, SuperSpeed USB is a major threat to eSATA: it will not only be supported by all PCs in the following years, but it is also backwards compatible with existing and older systems.
“USB 3.0 poses a serious threat to eSATA. eSATA lacks the versatility of USB and 1394/FireWire, which are found in a much wider range of devices,” said Brian O’Rourke, an In-Stat analyst
The current eSATA standard offers data rates of 3Gb/s, while the next version, which will be available in the second half of 2010, will offer 6Gb/s. The doubling of throughput will not insulate the technology safe from competition, however. eSATA has a small cost advantage over its competition because it is commonly integrated into I/O controllers of personal computers.
eSATA faces better sustainability in set top box markets than in the PC or external hard drive markets since STBs do not need to be compatible with a variety of other equipment.