Next-generation interface doubles the performance of current drives
With SATA (Serial ATA) now being the primary connectivity interface for the majority of portable and desktop storage solutions, industry players are gearing up for its next generation, the SATA 6GB/s. This new standard is expected to make its debut as early as the second quarter of 2009, according to Conrad Mawell, the chairman of the SATA-IO Marketing Work Group. The new standard will be slowly replacing the current SATA 3GB/s, providing a faster and improved performance for storage solutions in the consumer and server markets.
According to current details, SATA drives are responsible for nearly 100 percent of the desktop and notebook PC markets, with a 30 percent penetration in the enterprise market. In addition, E-SATA is further expanding as a standard for channel motherboards, where its penetration rate is currently up to 60 percent. However, the SATA connector still needs to gain some ground in the retail PC and external box markets, where it currently accounts for over 25 percent.
This third generation of SATA connectors is expected to double the speed of the 3GB/s standard, providing a much needed performance boost for storage solutions. Products using the aforementioned standard and their specifications are expected to become available in Q2 2009. E-SATA specs are also expected to double, but that is yet to be confirmed.
“This will help consumers transmit data faster,” says Mawell. “It's backward compatible with SATA-1.5Gbps and SATA-3Gbps same connector and cable as before, so it will automatically adjust the speed based on the device support.”
The performance capabilities of the SATA 6GB/s are expected to exceed those of the USB 3.0 and of Solid State Drives. This could potentially impact the sales of traditional hard disk drives, which currently still are the most spread storage solutions on the market, thanks to their much lower price tag, in comparison to Flash-based SSDs.
First SATA 6GB/s Drives to Debut in Q2 2009