The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) has published the final Serial ATA Revision 3.0 specification, this new update enables data transfer speeds of up to 6Gb/s (750MB/s) and has several other enhancements as well.
"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," said Knut Grimsrud, SATA-IO president and Intel Fellow and director of storage architecture. "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."
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. In addition, the specification features a number of enhancements for increased functionality. These enhancements include:
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
A small Low Insertion Force (LIF) connector for more compact 1.8-inch storage devices
A connector designed to accommodate 7mm optical disk drives for thinner and lighter notebooks
Alignment with the INCITS ATA8-ACS standard
SATA technology has gained tremendous ground since its introduction in 2001. 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 percent 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.
"The SATA interface has developed into the de facto standard HDD interface in computing applications," said John Rydning, IDC's research director for hard disk drives. "The new SATA Revision 3.0 specification builds upon the current market success of SATA, and will help to solidify SATA as the predominant storage device interface technology for the foreseeable future."