The Serial ATA Working Group has announced two new specification developments at the Intel Developer Forum yesterday. One focuses on doubling the signaling speed for Serial ATA , the other one on a new cable and connector to support additional applications and new usage models.
The specification for the second generation Serial ATA signal speed (3Gbps) is completed and has started its ratification process wich is expected to be completed in 30 days. The previous S-ATA generation was 1.5Gbps (150MB/s), the new generation is 3Gbps (300MB/s).
One of the requirements of the 3Gbps Serial ATA specification is that no new cables and connectors are required to support the higher signal speed.
In addition to doubling the speed for the internal PHY originally defined in the SATA 1.0 specification, the new specification also defines a higher-power version of it for longer-haul external datacenter use. The external phy version defined in the specification only impacts box-to-box applications (not used as a direct disk drive connection) and has been defined to match the electrical parameters for the SAS phy.
Also announced at the IDF was the Volume 2 of the cables and connectors specifications for Serial ATA. The Volume 2 adds several new cabling options.
An internal multi-lane cable and connector assembly for streamlining connections between multiple internal host ports and internal devices or short backplane.
An external consumer cable and connector solution that accommodates use of Serial ATA with external storage devices.
External multi-lane datacenter cable and connector solution for connecting multiple Serial ATA channels between chassis in a datacenter.
Products based on the new cable and connector ingredients are expected to appear by the end of the year.
In a clear indication of strong industry adoption of Serial ATA, a plugfest last month saw participation from a record 200-plus representatives from 57 companies. During the 2 ½-day event in Colorado, 673 interoperability engagements were executed. The plugfest, sponsored by PMC Sierra, Marvel and Silicon Image, was free of charge to both Serial ATA Working Group members and non-members.