Serial ATA (SATA or Serial AT Attachment) is a computer bus interface which connects host bus adapters and mass storage devices for example, hard disk drives, optical drives and solid-state drives.
First version of SerialATA, SATA v1.0 was first released in August 2001 and is a substitute for the previous convention Parallel ATA interface which was used in IBM compatible computers. SerialATA is capable of delivering 1.5 Gbps of performance to each drive within a disk array. It has additional benefit of being backwards-compatible with ATA and ATAPI devices, and offers very a thin, small cable solution. Cable also helps make a much easier cable routing with better airflow in the computer when compared to the former ribbon cables used with ATA drives. SATA interface also supports external drives through external SATA which is now commonly known as eSATA. eSATA offers a lot of benefits when compared to other solutions. For example, it is hot swappable and it supports faster data transfer speeds with no bottleneck problems like USB and FireWire and also supports disk drive technologies for example S M A R T.
However, eSATA does have some shortcomings such as not distributing proper power through the cable like USB as a result drives require an external power source.
Several revisions have been made and up to date six versions are released which are given below:
- SATA revision v1.0
- SATA revision v2.0
- SATA revision v3.0
- SATA revision v3.1
- SATA revision v3.2
- SATA revision v3.3
A normal computer have two hard drive connections which are Parallel ATA (PATA), also known as IDE and Serial ATA (SATA). SATA is most commonly used in nearly all computers nowadays, due to increase of data transfer rate, easy cable management and long length as compared to PATA. A typical SATA Cable is shown in following figure: