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SATA 6Gb/s and the SATA Revision 3.0 Specification

Oct 12, 2008
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Everything referred to is here in these links, located at the Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO), which, is an independent, non-profit organization developed by and for leading industry companies:

1. Fast Just Got Faster: SATA 6Gb/s

2. The Path from 3Gb/s to SATA 6Gb/s: How to Migrate Current Designs to the SATA Revision 3.0

3. Frequently Asked Questions About SATA 6Gb/s and the SATA Revision 3.0 Specification

Excerpt from the FAQ:

Q4: What is the significance of the increased transfer rate achieved by the Serial ATA Revision 3.0 specification? Which applications can take advantage of all that speed?
A4: The higher transfer rate provides greater bandwidth for emerging high-performance storage solutions that directly utilize the increased transfer rates. Today’s computer applications rely on interface technologies that can accommodate high bandwidth for faster transfers of multimedia content. By increasing the transfer rate up to 6Gb/s or 600 MB/s (megabytes per second), SATA technology enables faster transfer of short bursts of data to and from the drive cache.
For example, high-end PCs used for bandwidth-hungry applications like video editing would be good candidates for SATA 6Gb/s because they require high performance access to memory.
High-end solid state drives (SSDs) are already pushing the limits of available interfaces, impacting read speeds. Moving to SATA 6Gb/s will remove the bottleneck for SSDs to enable faster read and write speeds.
In addition, SATA Revision 3.0 supports higher bandwidth aggregation achieved through port multipliers, which allow a single Serial ATA port to communicate with multiple drives. Port multipliers provide cost-effective and expanded drive scalability to storage systems. Simplified cabling allows the host to be connected to up to fifteen SATA devices by a single cable. In addition, several silicon companies offer a chip that enables four or five SATA drives to be connected to the host SATA port via a single SATA connection. Previously, this link would have been limited to 3Gb/s, but a SATA 6Gb/s port multiplier enables full utilization of the aggregated bandwidth.
RAID controllers also rely on the aggregated bandwidth of several hard disk drives to maximize the throughput advantages available through the faster bus. RAID cards which are designed for data redundancy and performance in particular are expected to benefit from the move to SATA 6Gb/s architectures.

Q5: Are there any other benefits to SATA Revision 3.0 besides doubling the speed?
A5: In addition to doubling storage device transfer speeds, the SATA Revision 3.0 specification includes the following new features:
– Serial ATA Native Command Queuing (NCQ) Streaming Command which accommodates isochronous data transfers, making SATA more suitable for audio/video
– NCQ Queue Management which allows the host to manage and process outstanding
NCQ commands to optimize performance
– Automatic Partial to Slumber mode transition which eliminates the need to enter Active
mode, thereby improving power management
– Low Insertion Force (LIF) connector which further shrinks the 1.8-inch hard disk drive
footprint and brings SATA technology into compact, embedded storage applications
– Connector solution for 7mm optical disk drives enabling thinner and lighter mobile
notebook PCs.

This some interesting reading and will help understand the purpose, ideas, theory, and truths to the standard.

IMO, some believe that the standard is to provide sustained throughput through the interface; the purpose is to "enables faster transfer of short bursts of data to and from the drive cache"; which is stated in the FAQ and other whitepapers.

The ability to connect multiple drives to a single port (remember those days, they are back).

Among, others new features.

If you wish to increase your knowledge of the new standard, I encourage you to read these papers as they have some interesting tidbits and may help to answer some of the questions I have seen asked.

Happy learning:)
Dec 2, 2009
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They say that the sata III does not give a benefit to hdds... well i dont know it well