The next generation of internal storage connectivity is within reach with today's release of the Serial ATA final 1.0 specification. The announcement was made at Intel Developer Forum, Fall 2001 in San Jose, Calif.
The technology is an evolutionary replacement of the parallel ATA physical storage interface, and was developed by the Serial ATA Working Group. Promoter group companies are APT Technologies Inc, Dell Computer Corporation, Intel Corporation, International Business Machines, Maxtor Corporation and Seagate Technology.
The Serial ATA interface will be used to connect such internal storage devices as hard disks, DVDs and CD-R/Ws to the motherboard in desktop and mobile PCs, value servers and network storage. Scalable performance (starting at 1.5 gigabits per second) and 100 percent software compatible with current operating systems, the technology will provide a storage interface that meets the needs of computers for the next decade.
Serial ATA has other benefits over its parallel predecessor. The low pin count of Serial ATA will enable computer manufacturers to design systems with cables that are simpler to route and install, improving thermal designs and facilitating smaller form factor systems. It also enables easier, more flexible motherboard routing and the use of smaller connectors than is possible with the existing parallel ATA technology.
Broad development of fully compliant products is already in progress, with the first Serial ATA/1500 storage solutions expected in the marketplace in the first half of 2002, according to Jason Ziller, Serial ATA Working Group chairman and Intel technology initiatives manager. The specification is licensed to the industry on a royalty-free basis.
The Serial ATA Working Group is now 74 members strong, representing leaders in the silicon design, cable/connector, storage and systems industries. More information about the Serial ATA Working Group is available at www.serialata.org.