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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to A+ (Core Hardware)
 9  Chapter 0100:  Hard Drives
      9  VII  IDE

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VIII  Physical Characteristics
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Serial ATA

All the issues above, and more, are simply done away with Serial ATA.

[spacer]Serial ATA

The first round in Serial ATA was released around 2003. The first offering introduces speeds of 1.5Gb/second, or 150MB/second. Higher throughput simply means increasing the clock speed. Second generation is expected to support 300 MB/second, and the third generation realizing 600MB/second. Further, since Serial ATA is a point-to-point protocol, the concept of master/slave and drives competing for bandwidth goes away.


If your next system board comes with Serial ATA, and you don't have a new Serial ATA drive, adapters are available for both the drives and system board/host adapter. Down the road it may be possible to include Hot Swapping and even power for the drive in one cable. Other benefits include:

  • Longer cable length: 1 Meter (more than doubling (parallel) ATA's 18".

  • Lower power requirements: 0.5V (500 millivolts)

  • Improved Error Checking

  • Lower manufacturing costs

Except for our discussion on SCSI, which is seen in the next chapter (Alan Shugart will pop up there again) the examination of interfaces is complete. We close with one more tip before moving into the physical world of hard drives.

[spacer]IDE Cable Limits

80-wire cable
can be used on any IDE device. 80-wire cable is required for UDMA 3 and above. The official length limit of IDE is 18". If you are going to break the rules and use a 24" cable, use 80 conductors. Even better is to not break the rules.



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