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Inside Windows Storage: Server Storage Technologies for Windows® 2000, Windows® Server 2003, and Beyond by Dilip C. Naik

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2.2. IDE, EIDE, and ATA

IDE devices are the most common storage devices in the PC world, especially for the consumer segment. IDE stands for “Integrated Drive Electronics,” ATA for “AT attached,” where the AT refers to the historical IBM PC AT. Both refer to the same disk drive standard. The basic idea is to have a disk drive with the disk controller integrated into the disk drive itself—hence the name Integrated Drive Electronics. The IDE/ATA standard specifies a 16-bit bus.

Just as SCSI has evolved through several standards revisions, so has IDE/ATA. The original standard specified use of programmed input/output (PIO) mode, where the main CPU plays a role in every disk I/O. Later revisions switched to using direct memory access (DMA), where ...

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