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SATA controllers

Storage expert Greg Schulz answers a reader's question: "Is a dual-channel SATA controller the same as a two-port SATA controller?"

What is a dual-channel SATA controller? Is it the same as a two- port SATA controller?
A SATA controller can have multiple physical ports for internal (no visible external ports on the card), external (you will see ports on the exterior edge of card) or both internal and external (you will see exterior ports and internal ports). The number and connector types of these ports will vary depending upon the types of connectors being used and if internal or external.

Also, the ports can support more than one channel. In fact, some SATA adapters and controllers support multiple logical channels, sometimes referred to as "lanes" over a cable connector such as the molex iPASS cabling system. So, when looking at SATA as well as SAS components, it's important to understand whether you are dealing with physical ports or logical ports, as well as whether they are internal or external.

This was first published in March 2007

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