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Vol. 3 No. 8 October 2004

SATA II Doubles Disk Speed to 3Gb/sec

Serial ATA (SATA) disk drives have only been shipping for about a year, but already the industry is cranking up the next version, SATA II, which doubles the data transfer rate to 3Gb/sec. The new standard is intended to match the speed of serial-attached SCSI (SAS) disk drives, due out in 2005. "This will ensure that there will not be a bottleneck when SAS comes out at 3Gb/sec," says Barbara Murphy, vice president of marketing for storage products at AMCC Storage, formerly 3Ware. At 1.5Gb/sec, the original SATA drives could create a bottleneck when data is moved from 3Gb/sec SAS drives, as part of a data tiering strategy. The faster SATA II drives also allow the use of port multipliers to link multiple drives to a single host, explains Justin Heindel, product marketing manager at Marvell, a semiconductor manufacturer. In general, "as the internal transfer rates of the drives increase, you need this headroom," he says. The objective is to keep the interface I/O rate ahead of the disk's data rate. "If we did nothing, in two years ...

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