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Serial ATA (SATA or Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) is a computer bus interface for connecting host bus adapters to mass storage devices such as hard disk drives and optical drives. Serial ATA was designed to replace the older ATA (AT Attachment) standard (also known as EIDE), offering several advantages over the older parallel ATA (PATA) interface: reduced cable-bulk and cost (7 wires versus 40), native hot swapping, faster data transfer through higher signalling rates, and more efficient transfer through an (optional) I/O queuing protocol.

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Internal PC Cables

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Internal PC Connectors

External PC Connectors
Ultra ATA (44 Pin)
Ultra ATA (44 Pin)

Ultra ATA (50 Pin)
Ultra ATA (50 Pin)
Small Computer Systems Interface

Serial Advanced Technology Attachment
Serial ATA


Apple Power
Book Ata

Apple Power

Novell Procomp External SCSI

Paravision SX-1 External IDE

This illustration shows what a typical Serial Advanced Technology Attachment cable looks like.
SATA host-adapters and devices communicate via a high-speed serial cable over two pairs of conductors. In contrast, parallel ATA (the redesignation for the legacy ATA specifications) used a 16-bit wide data bus with many additional support and control signals, all operating at much lower frequency.
To ensure backward compatibility with legacy ATA software and applications, SATA uses the same basic ATA and ATAPI command-set as legacy ATA devices. As of 2009[update], SATA has replaced parallel ATA in most shipping consumer PC and laptop computers, and is expected to eventually replace PATA in embedded applications where space and cost are a consideration. PATA remains widely used in industrial and embedded applications that use CompactFlash storage, though even here, the next CFast storage standard will be based on SATA.
Creation Year: 2001
Superseded By: Parallel ATA (PATA)
Cable Capacities: 1.5, 3.0, 6.0 Gbit/s
Data Width: 16 bits Bandwidth
Maximum Devices Supported: 2 (master/slave)
Protocols Used: Protocol Parallel
Cable Style: Serial
Hotplugging Support? Yes
External Interfaces: Yes (eSATA)
Supported Devices:

Hard Disk Drives.
CD-ROM Drives.
DVD-ROM Drives.
DVD Writers.
Blue Ray DVD Readers.
Blue Ray DVD Writers

Explanations Of Connectors:
# Purpose
1 7 pin male connector on sata cable
7 pin male connector on SATA 150mbps data cable.

7 pin female connector (SATA ports) on a motherboard.



Typical Lengths:
  • a
Advantages and Disadvantages:
Reduced cable bulk and cost (7 wires versus 40). More expensive.
Native hot swapping. Limit of one device per channel.
Faster data transfer through higher signalling rates. Incompatible with older IDE standards and devices.
More efficient transfer through an optinal I/O queuing protocol.
Cable Features:
  • The Serial ATA Spec includes logic for SATA device hotplugging. Devices and motherboards that meet the interoperability spec are capable of hot plugging.
Advanced Host Controller Interface
  • As their standard interface, SATA controllers use the AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface), allowing advanced features of SATA such as hotplug and native command queuing (NCQ). If AHCI is not enabled by the motherboard and chipset, SATA controllers typically operate in "IDE emulation" mode, which does not allow features of devices to be accessed if the ATA/IDE standard does not support them.

    Windows device drivers that are labeled as SATA are often running in IDE emulation mode unless they explicitly state that they are AHCI mode, in RAID mode, or a mode provided by a proprietary driver and command set that was designed to allow access to SATA's advanced features before AHCI became popular. Modern versions of Microsoft Windows, FreeBSD, Linux with version 2.6.19 onward, as well as Solaris and OpenSolaris include support for AHCI, but older OSes such as Windows XP do not. Even in those instances a proprietary driver may have been created for a specific chipset, such as Intel's.
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