Serial ATA specification
The first draft of the new Serial ATA specification by the Serial ATA Working Group has been published so that hardware developers can get started with the new technology as quickly and easily as possible. Serial ATA (SATA) is the successor to the current IDE interface, which has been developed with the current transfer rate of 100 MByte/s.
In its first version, Ultra SATA/1500, the serial interface of Serial ATA enables a transfer rate of 1.5 Gbit/s or 150 Mbyte/s, whereby further increases in this transfer rate are already planned. SATA only needs a thin four-wire line which, in contrast to previous Ultra-ATA/100 cables, can be up to 1 m long and no longer just 45 cm. Master and slave are no longer required with the new technology, as each device is connected to its own port via its own cable. So that this technology also works with the previous operating systems, the host adapter has a shadow register set for each device, which emulates the register set of previous hard drives. The ATAPI commands are converted into the serial protocol by the host adapter. It will probably take at least the end of 2001 before the first devices with the new SATA technology appear. Since the parallel ATA will not disappear from the market immediately, it is likely that some companies will produce a SATA-to-ATA adapter so that the hard drives are compatible with both technologies and do not have to produce both variants.