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SATA port multiplier vs. SATA multilane

What is the difference between a SATA port multiplier and SATA multilane?

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A SATA port multiplier is a device or chip that allows a single SATA port to communicate with multiple drives and simplify cabling. SATA port multipliers typically are incorporated into a storage enclosures backplane for example to enable a single SATA port to be able to access up to 15 disk drives on a storage enclosure drive shelve.

Similar in concept to a SATA port multiplier is a SAS expander which enables one or more ports to be able to fan-out to multiple ports for device attachment. SAS supports attachment of both SAS and SATA devices including support for multiple lanes over a single port including SATA Tunneling Protocol (STP). Learn more about SAS at the SCSI trade organization site www.scsita.org and SATA at the SATA I/O organization www.sata-io.org.

This was first published in February 2007

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