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Wednesday, October 23, 2002
Serial ATA reaches another milestone en route to market ramp


Serial ATA, the next-generation storage interconnect, has reached another milestone with today's release of a final specification of Serial ATA II: Extensions to Serial ATA 1.0, or simply called Serial ATA II. The announcement was made by the Serial ATA Working Group at the Intel Developer Forum conference in Tokyo.

Serial ATA II is an enhancement of the Serial ATA specification, which 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, cost-sensitive servers and networked storage. Serial ATA II will enhance the existing Serial ATA spec for the server and networked storage market segments. These features are expected to build on the momentum of Serial ATA 1.0 in those segments.

Serial ATA II is being completed in two phases. Phase 1, which includes the spec announced today, is focused on features for the server and networked storage market. These include new performance features to address server workloads and infrastructure additions to improve integration of Serial ATA into storage enclosures. Additions include enclosure management services and backplane interconnect support. Phase 1 product adoption ramp is expected in mid-2003.

The specification for Serial ATA II's second phase, focusing on next-generation signaling speeds, is on schedule for release in the second half of 2003. Deployment of Phase 2 products is expected to start in the second half of 2004.

To enable rapid product adoption, Serial ATA 1.0 products are 100 percent software compatible with existing parallel ATA protocol, and maintain software compatibility with today's operating systems.

"Broad deployment of Serial ATA products is expected in 2003," said Jason Ziller, chairman of the Serial ATA Working Group and technology initiatives manager of Intel Corporation, which next year is planning to launch its first chipset with integrated Serial ATA.

At the U.S. IDF last month, Japan-based NEC Corporation announced development of a new Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) macro prototype that enables large-scale integrated (LSI) devices to transfer high-speed data up to eight channels simultaneously. Fujitsu Computer Products of America Inc., one of the world's leading suppliers of hard drives and computer peripherals, announced it is showcasing of the industry's first 2.5-inch hard disk drive with Serial ATA (SATA) architecture. At the IDF in Taiwan last week, Intel announced the Intel® Serial ATA Controller 31244, the industry's first PCI-X to Serial ATA II product to bring the new specification's price and performance benefits to a wide variety of entry-level storage solutions.

Serial ATA Working Group has surpassed 100 members, including promoting companies APT, Dell, Intel, Maxtor and Seagate.


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