Serial ATA

The Serial ATA Working Group (http://www.serialata.org) is a group of companies led by APT, Dell, Intel, Maxtor, and Seagate. In August 2001, this group released the Serial ATA Specification 1.0, which defines a replacement for the parallel ATA physical storage interface.

Serial ATA (SATA) drives and interfaces were originally expected to ship in volume in late 2001, but various technical and marketing reasons delayed deployment by a year or more. By late 2002, SATA motherboards and drives were in limited distribution. Maxtor and Western Digital had planned to ship SATA drives in 2002, but failed to do so, leaving Seagate as the only hard drive maker shipping SATA drives in significant quantities through early 2003.

Motherboards also lacked native SATA support until spring 2003. Beginning in fall 2002, a few premium motherboards such as the Intel D845PEBT2 and the ASUS A7N8X Deluxe incorporated SATA support, but those transition motherboards merely grafted on SATA support using third-party support chips. Native chipset-level SATA support had to wait for the arrival in spring 2003 of motherboards based on Intel Springdale- and Canterwood-series chipsets.

Despite the slow start, SATA is on track to replace PATA, particularly for hard drives. By late 2003, most mainstream hard drives and motherboards will be native SATA products. Although SATA will rapidly become the standard for hard drives, most new motherboards will also have PATA interfaces well into 2005. This is ...

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