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The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO), the industry consortium that develops Serial ATA standards and technologies, gas announced that it is developing the Serial ATA Universal Storage Module (USM) specification for portable storage applications. The USM technology is expected to become a leading standard for external storage solutions on the market of consumer electronics.

The organization said that the USM is a slot-based standard that utilizes Serial ATA data and power connectors. The USM slots will be incorporated onto various consumer electronics devices, including televisions, game consoles, set-top boxes, computers, docking stations and so on. The new connector is fully based on Serial ATA specifications and hence its implementation will hardly require any substantial efforts from manufacturers.

Modules, slots and interfaces designed according to the SATA USM specification will enable consumers to instantly access their music, movies, photos and other content from a variety of consumer electronics products, and to seamlessly transfer content between devices without the aid of additional power or cables. The integrated SATA interface supports transfer speeds up to 600GB/s, offering users the same speed and reliability they have come to expect from their hard drives and other SATA-based devices.

“PC storage technology has advanced to the point where consumers can have nearly instantaneous interactions with the data and content stored on their computers. Devices based on the SATA USM specification will provide the portability to extend that experience beyond the PC to the consumer electronics arena, allowing users to share their content wherever they go,” said Mladen Luksic, SATA-IO president.

SATA-IO expects the USM specification to be completed and available later this year. A complimentary specification defining the size requirements for USM devices and CE slots is being developed by the Small Form Factor Committee (SFF) and should also be available this year.

Consumer electronics manufacturers are already embracing the USM specification. SATA-IO and Seagate Technology are partnering to sponsor the first public demonstration of USM prototype devices at CES Unveiled this week, highlighting the variety of applications enabled by the USM specification.

Tags: Serial ATA, HDD

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