Asus integrates Serial-ATA in motherboards
Asus is one of the first manufacturers to start equipping the first motherboards with a Serial ATA interface (SATA). The 'SATA-Link' chip from Silicon Image is used, which offers two SATA channels.
The chip will initially only be found on boards for AMD processors. The K8M for Hammer, the A7V8X and the A7N8X for Duron and Athlon processors will offer this innovation. As with IDE controllers, the chip is integrated into the system as a PCI device. According to Asus, it should be possible to boot from SATA hard drives if you include a corresponding driver when installing Windows 2000 or XP.
Only one Hard disk can be connected, which is due to the point-to-point control.
Advantages of SATA over ATA -Architecture are a higher data transfer rate of 150MB/s, elimination of the master-slave division, as SATA works via a point-to-point connection, thinner cables, which hinder the air circulation in housings less and a longer maximum cable length. Furthermore, SATA devices should be exchangeable during operation. In addition, it becomes easier for motherboard manufacturers to accommodate the connections on the board, since fewer lines have to be laid than with the IDE controllers.
Other system board manufacturers are reluctant to install such a more expensive solution and wait for the chipset manufacturers to adopt the SATA interface in their Southbridges. The market for SATA-enabled devices is still quite sparsely populated. At the moment only Western Digital and Seagate offer hard drives with SATA connectors.