Seagate SATA Barracuda ATA V (1)
Seagate today demonstrated SerialATA Barracuda V series of Harddisk at the media briefing held at Seagate office. We met up with Mr. Mark Walker who is the Product Marketing Manager of Seagate Technology LLC. Together with him are Mr. Chee, Mr. Lim and Ganesh who later demonstrated a working SATA solution.
In the media briefing, Mark explains the need for serialATA as a faster more robust interface over the current Parallel ATA technology which is almost a 15 yrs old technology. As we know, in the current parallel HD architecture, we are always thinking of tidying up the PC as IDE cables are wide and blocks air flow in PC system. Furthermore, PATA has a high pin count, high voltage needs and non-scalable performance.
SATA is going to change all this as the interface is smaller and there is a lower pin count and voltage tolerance. SATA provides a faster interface at 150MB/second. SATA also has better reliability and improved data integrity because data, command and status information is checked using CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check). On Parallel ATA, only the data block and only in data phase, CRC is used to check for data errors.
SATA also provides better scalability for performance now and the future. In the past, one IDE bus is shared by 2 IDE devices. On SATA, one bus is dedicated to one device. This reduces performance overhead. Furthermore, chipset makers like Promise and SiliconImage have SATA RAID 0/1 readily available on most new generation mainboards.
SATA uses longer thinner cables for routing within the PC casing. One exciting feature is that SATA devices are hot pluggable. If you have been following our Granite Bay reviews, you would have noticed one of the boards actually comes equipped with a SATA bracket for external connections to SATA HD. With a better air flow within the case, system reliability is increased (this could be better than using the thick IDE rounded cables).
SATA can be in bridged architecture or native architecture. If you have read about Seriellel by ABIT, that is the one of those Bridged Serial ATA solutions which enable you to use your existing Parallel ATA HD to use the SATA port on board. While this is a bridged and interim solution for you to use thinner cables, it does not benefit from the native architecture design of SATA.
In the SATA Native architecture, not only on the physical layer of the drive, but also in the ATA controller link and transport layers, Seagate drives can communicate from the drive to the host directly up to the full 150MB/sec speed on the bus. In addition, the native solution incorporates command queueing, which can be a big performance boost in operating systems that can take advantage of that type of function. Some drive manufacturers may not immediately offer these "native" Serial ATA features on their 1st generation Serial ATA drives due to the difficulty of this integration.
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