The new specification is backward compatible with earlier SATA implementations, and maintains the low cost and low power for which the popular storage interface is acclaimed. In addition, the specification features a number of enhancements for increased functionality. These enhancements include:
- A new Native Command Queuing (NCQ) streaming command to enable isochronous data transfers for bandwidth-hungry audio and video applications
- An NCQ Management feature that helps optimize performance by enabling host processing and management of outstanding NCQ commands
- Improved power management capabilities
- A small Low Insertion Force (LIF) connector for more compact 1.8-inch storage devices
- A connector designed to accommodate 7mm optical disk drives for thinner and lighter notebooks
- Alignment with the INCITS ATA8-ACS standard
According to analyst firm IDC, more than 1.1 billion SATA hard drives have shipped from 2001 through 2008. Last year, SATA captured more than 98 percent of internal hard disk drive shipments, demonstrating that SATA technology is now used in the vast majority of desktop and mobile PCs. Additionally, the technology is increasingly being used in other types of devices, including optical disk drives, solid state drives, servers and external storage systems. SATA implementations are also making inroads in the enterprise market.
SATA-IO will demonstrate several product implementations of SATA 6Gb/s and other technologies enabled by the SATA Revision 3.0 specification at Computex Taipei on June 2-6.