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IDF Fall 2003: Three new Serial ATA II specifications announced

At IDF the Serial ATA II workgroup introduced three new Serial ATA II specifications called to speed up the development and implementation of Serial ATA-enabled products into desktop, mobile, server systems and NAS.

Specialists believe these specs will actually speed up the adoption of this interface. Serial ATA II bases on Serial ATA and provides additional features, including higher throughputs.

Digital 1.1 specification

According to Serial ATA workgroup, the Serial ATA Digital 1.1 specs feature the following:

  • Asyncronous signal recovery
  • Asyncronous ATAPI notification so hosts don´t need to request for device presence
  • Queue optimization enabling additional instructions during long transfers
  • Configuration combinations enabling OEM companies to disable unsupported SATA features in hard drives
  • SAF-TE and SES connectors
  • Accelerated I2C processor address identification so hosts don´t need to search I2C space for processor

Port Multiplier 1.1 defines host connectivity over SATA for multiple devices. This spec enables single host connection with multple devices to minimize cabling and improve cooling in SATA storage systems. Port Multiplier 1.1 adds asyncronous notification from Digital 1.1. This eliminates the need in checking for installed or removed devices.

Port Selector 1.0 enables two different host ports to connect to a single device to provide a backup data path. Port Selector 1.0 is a compulsory structure component for RAID, NAS and backup system builders that develop fully reserved storage topologies. Additional features include:

  • In-band or protocol management to avoid additional routing between initiator and destination
  • Sideband signalling for simple interaction with external controls

At IDF the Serial ATA workgroup demonstrated the Serial ATA solutions, including:

  • Inexpensive SATA storages for large volumes of rarely modified or unmodified data from 3ware, Maxtor and Seagate
  • SATA port multipliers with multitasking controllers from Silicon Image, Intel and Maxtor
  • JMR´s Serial ATA system on 2.5" SATA hard drives
  • External SATA storages from Maxtor, Silicon Image and Comax
  • 4:16 SATA port multipliers from Vitesse Semiconductor and CI Design

Source: Intel

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