The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) published the SATA 3.1 specification:
The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO), the industry consortium dedicated to sustaining the quality, integrity and dissemination of Serial ATA (SATA) technology, today announced the completion of its Revision 3.1 Specification. This latest specification update includes design requirements for the SATA Universal Storage Module (USM) for portable storage applications, along with a series of enhancements for added functionality and convenience. The features included in SATA Revision 3.1 continue to extend the speed and reliability of SATA technology to a wide variety of device segments, including consumer electronics and small form factor devices.
First introduced in January 2011, USM enables removable and expandable storage solutions for consumer electronics devices. Using USM developers can incorporate slots into televisions, game consoles, set-top boxes, computers, docking stations and other consumer electronic devices that will accept powered, cable-free storage modules with integrated powered SATA interfaces for expanding storage capacity. USM provides an easy means for developers to implement SATA technology in a wide range of consumer electronics devices, and is the first standard specification to define slots for these types of products to accept complete, powered external storage devices. It also is one of several SATA-IO initiatives designed to extend SATA technology beyond traditional PC storage.
USM products are currently available from Antec, GIEC, HiSense, Ionics, Lenuss, Seagate Technology and Thermaltake. More information on the USM specification and related products is available here.
In addition to USM, SATA Revision 3.1 includes several enhancements that help implementers take full advantage of SATA’s 6 Gb/s data rate. These enhancements range from new power management requirements to improvements that help maximize device efficiency. Key features include:
mSATA – SATA for mobile computing devices, now with enhanced auto detection to provide increased interoperability by eliminating the need for a dedicated mSATA connector
Zero-Power Optical Disk Drive (ODD) – eliminates the power consumption of an idle SATA ODD, resulting in increased energy savings
Required Link Power Management – drives energy efficient power management across all SATA devices, reducing overall system power demand
Queued Trim Command – allows SATA SSDs to execute Trim without impacting normal operation, improving SSD performance
Hardware Control Features – enable host identification of device capabilities, allowing hosts to make more effective use of SATA devices
“As the storage industry continues to evolve, developers are looking for more ways to incorporate high performance storage solutions into their products,” said Mladen Luksic, SATA-IO president. “The features included in the SATA-IO Revision 3.1 specification help make SATA technology accessible to a wide range of device segments from mobile devices to consumer electronics products and traditional PC systems. These features demonstrate SATA-IO’s commitment to providing cost-effective, high performance storage solutions to the entire industry.”
SATA specifications are available for members to download at no cost. Non-members may purchase the specification for a nominal fee.