An Overall Description of SATA

In 2002, although the equipment relative to ATA series wasn't officially listed, the Serial ATA Commission established the specification of Serial ATA 1.0 in advance. SATA specification has promoted the theoretical external transfer rate of hard disk up to 150MB/s, which is 50% higher than PATA standard ATA/100 and about 13% higher than ATA/133. With the development of subsequent versions, the transmission rate of SATA interface can be expanded to 2X and 4X (300MB/s and 600MB/s). It can be seen from the development plan that future SATA can improve the interface transmission rate by increasing the clock frequency so as to enable the hard disk to be overclocked.


needs the support of hardware chips, such as Intel ICH5(R), VIA VT8237, nVIDIA MCP RAID and SiS964. While motherboard and Southbridge are not compatible with each other, a third-party chip will be needed, such as Silicon Image 3112A chips. However, there will be some differences in hardware performance, and the drive program will become more complicated.

3.Advantages of SATA
The serial interface has fast transmission rate and high efficiency with simple structure and hot swap ability. Using hard disks with SATA is a trend to PC's hard disk in the future. Serial ATA uses serial connection, which makes use of embedded clock signal and so has a stronger error correction capability.

Serial hard disk is a novel kind of hard disk interface which is totally different from parallel ATA because it is famous for applying serial transmission of data. Compared with ATA, SATA has many advantages. Firstly, SATA transmits data in the way of continuous serial, and only one-digit data can be transmitted each time. Secondly, Serial ATA has higher starting point and greater potential for development. The data transmission rate of Serial ATA 1.0 can reach 150MB/s, which is faster than 113MB/s of ATA (ATA/113). The data transmission rate of Serial ATA 2.0 can reach 300MB/s and the fastest speed of SATA will achieve 600MB/s in the future.

The physical design of SATA sets Fiber Channel as blueprint, so it uses four-core wire. The demand for voltage has been significantly reduced to 250mV (up to 500mV), which is 20 times lower than 5V of traditional ATA interface. In actual use, HBA (Host Bus Adapter) of SATA, which acts as a switch on the Internet, can communicate with single hard disk in the form of channel.

Third Generation of SATA
Except for the bandwidth doubled to 6Gb/s, the final specification of SATA 3.0 brings several new technologies, including adding new NCQ commands for improving transmission technology and reducing the transmission power compared with that of SATA 2.0. Furthermore, SATA 3.0 can deal with the system processing resource preferentially. Thus the executing efficiency of system will be greatly improved.

In order to lengthen the battery life, SATA 3.0 adopts new INCITS ATA8-ACS standard and it is compatible with old SATA devices. This can not only further improve the signal transmission technology, but also largely decrease the transmission power. SATA 3.0 provides the Low Insertion Force Connector smaller than normal SATA interface to meet the requirement of shrinking product size on NB market.

Comparison between Old Version and New Version
Due to its property of new structure, fast data transfer and space saving, SATA hard disk has a lot of advantages over IDE hard disk.
1.The transfer speed is faster than that of IDE hard disk.
2.The line of SATA is less and thinner compared with that of IDE PATA40-pin. It can be extended to 1 meter and the transfer distance will be wider.
3.The power dissipation will be reduced. 500 millivolts of voltage is enough to make SATA hard disk to work normally.
4.SATA can use multipurpose chipset or serial–parallel converter to be backward compatible with PATA devices.
5.SATA doesn't need to set a master-slave jumper. BIOS will number it by 1, 2 and 3 orderly. This depends on which SATA connector is connected by drive. And IDE hard disk can set the master-slave disk by setting the jumper.
6.SATA also supports hot-swappable but IDE doesn't support. It can be used like a U disk.

Attention: If you want to clone system disk to an external hard drive so that your PC can boot from it, which connection method you should use? Actually, SATA can work well.