IDF: SATA 3.0 to offer 6 Gbit/s transfer speeds
It’s become something of a tradition for the Intel Developer Forum to host news and announcements on the topic of Serial ATA (SATA). This time out, the SATA-IO, an industry association led by Intel fellow Knut Grimsrud, has promised to release the third generation of SATA specification – SATA 3.0 – before the end of this year. This will include a new data transfer mode, which achieves a gross transfer speed of 6 Gbit/s, twice that of SATA 2, version 2.6, at 3 Gbit/s.
Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) should be even faster, with the first 6 Gbit/s SAS 2.0 drives already on their way. The latest IDE/ATA/SATA specifications are traditionally significantly faster than the actual deliverable drives. The fastest currently available SAS disks, e.g. the Seagate Cheetah 15K.6, in their fastest zones achieve speeds of just over 180 Mbyte/s, significantly slower than the full capacity of the 3 Gbit/s transfer mode, which will theoretically (due to 8b/10b encoding) transfer at up to 300 Mbyte/s.
The SATA-IO has recently recognised the potential for confusion caused by its mishmash of a standard and has set up a web page to explain what names should be used. The SATA-IO has naturally decided that the popular abbreviation "SATA II" is not suitable for the current generation of devices and that instead the fastest transfer speed, e.g. "SATA 3Gb/s", should be used and additional functions such as NCQ or eSATA should be named explicitly. There will be a new logo for the new 6 Gbit/s devices in order to make it easier to distinguish them from older SATA devices.
For more on the Autumn IDF 2008 see also:
- IDF: Third generation Classmate PC with rotating touch screen
- IDF: DDR4 - the successor to DDR3 memory
- IDF: turbo mode for Nehalem
- IDF: Intel firms up Nehalem plans
- IDF: Fast SSDs
- IDF: Future Xeon servers with extended power management
- IDF: the dual-core Atom for cheap computers is on its way
- IDF: Details about QuickPath Interconnect