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Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO), the industry consortium that defines Serial ATA (SATA) technology standards, today announced the ratification of its revision 3.2 specification. The latest specification includes SATA Express, a new specification that enables the coexistence of SATA and PCIe storage devices, as well as enhancements in power management, new SATA form-factors, and optimizations for solid-state hybrid drives (SSHDs).

“SATA technology continues to evolve to accommodate ever-changing storage industry requirements. The updates featured in the revision 3.2 specification, such as SATA Express and enhancements for emerging solid state hybrid drives, are driven by current market trends. These new features demonstrate SATA-IO’s ongoing commitment to providing low-cost, high-performance storage solutions,” said Mladen Luksic, president of SATA-IO.

Initially introduced in January 2013, the SATA Express specification enables a client storage ecosystem that allows SATA and PCIe solutions to coexist. A host implemented to this specification will connect to and function with either a SATA or PCIe storage device. PCIe technology enables increased interface speeds of up to 2GB/s (2 lanes of PCIe 3.0), compared with today’s SATA technology at 0.6GB/s (6Gb/s). The increased speed of PCIe provides a cost-effective solution for optimizing performance of Solid State Drives (SSDs) and emerging SSHDs. Storage devices not requiring the increased speed of PCIe, such as traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) and optical drives, will continue to be supported by SATA.

SATA revision 3.2 also incorporates the M.2 form factor, enabling small form-factor M.2 SATA SSDs suitable for thin devices such as tablets and notebooks. M.2 (formerly known as NGFF and defined by PCI-SIG) is a small form factor card that supports a variety of applications including WiFi, WWAN, USB, PCIe and SATA.

Additional key features and enhancements of revision 3.2 include:

  • microSSD – standard for embedded solid state drives (SSDs) that enables developers to produce single-chip SATA implementations for embedded storage applications.
  • Universal Storage Module (USM) – enables removable and expandable storage for consumer electronic devices. SATA revision 3.2 introduces USM Slim, which reduces module thickness, allowing smaller removable storage solutions.
  • DevSleep – the lowest yet level of power management where the drive is almost completely shut down, to meet the requirements of new always on, always connected mobile devices such as Ultrabooks.
  • Transitional Energy Reporting – provides the host with detailed information about the SATA storage device, facilitating better power management.
  • Hybrid Information – provides a mechanism in which the host can communicate data caching information to the drive, improving solid state hybrid drive (SSHD) performance.
  • Rebuild Assist – speeds the data reconstruction process in RAID configurations.

Tags: SATA, Serial ATA, SSD, SSHD, NAND, Flash

Discussion

Comments currently: 8
Discussion started: 08/09/13 07:43:12 PM
Latest comment: 08/12/13 12:49:35 AM
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1. 
6 Gbps is 0.75 GBps, not 0.6 GBps. 8 bits, not 10 bits, in a byte.

EDIT: I'm completely wrong! Basroil is correct: the SATA specification does not use the standard 8 bit -> 1 byte conversion. Mind blown. It uses 8b/10b encoding that actually turns the 8-bit into 10-bit (somehow this causes fewer errors in the data stream).

So, SATA 6Gbps = 600MB/s!

Thank you, basroil, for actually knowing what you're talking about!
3 1 [Posted by: Ibrahim Jadoon  | Date: 08/09/13 07:43:12 PM]
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- collapse thread

 
False, since 10 bits = 1 byte according to SATA specifications. Many people assume 8bits = 1byte because they fail to realize just what the different between bits and bytes are (bits=unit of raw transaction, byte= unit of actual data (with 256 levels built in in standard use, but can be practically anything)
2 2 [Posted by: basroil  | Date: 08/10/13 02:45:53 AM]
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so what you mean is that 1byte of data = 8bits of data + 2bits of checksum, yes?
0 0 [Posted by: knedle  | Date: 08/10/13 09:52:07 AM]
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Not quite, 8/10 encoding, which is a bit more complicated than checksums. 256 possible unique combinations are represented in 10 bits of transport. That's only the physical communication though, overhead is not included in that.
0 1 [Posted by: basroil  | Date: 08/10/13 07:14:52 PM]
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2. 
Some of you guys are reinventing the hot water. Guys, focus. 1 Byte = 8 bits, and that's a fact. 6Gbps might be 600MB/s but that's because of SATA overhead, etc. Actually the overhead is much more bigger since is proven that a SATA 3 port cannot go beyond 550-560MB/s.
0 1 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 08/10/13 11:40:37 AM]
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- collapse thread

 
Historically, 1byte!=8bit 1byte= sizeof(char), which can be practically any number depending on the compiler. Byte size is arbitrary by necessity, but people generally agree on 8bits of useful contiguous data. In this case, every byte of useful data transport requires 10 bits of raw transport because the physical layer uses 8b/10b encoding.

The overhead you talk about is actually fairly small, since of the theoretical data rate limit we are getting about 90%. That overhead is software based though, and has nothing to do with 1byte per 10 bits. Between OS overhead, file system overhead, and a few others, it's pretty much as fast as it can get.
1 1 [Posted by: basroil  | Date: 08/10/13 06:47:26 PM]
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Some of you guys (cough, you) did not review the SATA specification carefully, even after basroil said it was 10 bits!

SATA uses 8b/10b encoding, so it actually is 10 bits per byte.

All credit goes to basroil!
1 1 [Posted by: Ibrahim Jadoon  | Date: 08/11/13 07:18:56 PM]
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All credit goes to Wikipedia! It takes about two seconds to search for the specs, and the physical layer specs are easy to spot.
0 1 [Posted by: basroil  | Date: 08/12/13 12:49:35 AM]
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