17 Facts About SATA


Serial ATA spec requires SATA devices be capable of hot plugging; that is, devices that meet the specification are capable of insertion or removal of a device into or from a backplane connector that has power on.

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In general, SATA devices fulfill the device-side hot-plugging requirements, and most SATA host adapters support this function.

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Windows device drivers that are labeled as SATA are often running in IDE emulation mode unless they explicitly state that they are AHCI mode, in RAID mode, or a mode provided by a proprietary driver and command set that allowed access to SATA's advanced features before AHCI became popular.

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Special eSATA connector is specified for external devices, and an optionally implemented provision for clips to hold internal connectors firmly in place.

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Female SATA ports are for use with SATA data cables that have locks or clips to prevent accidental unplugging.

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Some SATA cables have right- or left-angled connectors to ease connection to circuit boards.

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SATA specifies a different power connector than the four-pin Molex connector used on Parallel ATA devices (and earlier small storage devices, going back to ST-506 hard disk drives and even to floppy disk drives that predated the IBM PC).

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Some early SATA drives included the four-pin Molex power connector together with the new fifteen-pin connector, but most SATA drives now have only the latter.

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Standardized in 2004, eSATA provides a variant of SATA meant for external connectivity.

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Mini-SATA, which is distinct from the micro connector, was announced by the Serial ATA International Organization on September 21, 2009.

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Physical dimensions of the mSATA connector are identical to those of the PCI Express Mini Card interface, but the interfaces are electrically incompatible; the data signals need a connection to the SATA host controller instead of the PCI Express host controller.

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SATA specification defines three distinct protocol layers: physical, link, and transport.

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Generally, the actual SATA signalling is half-duplex, meaning that it can only read or write data at any one time.

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SATA defines multipliers, which allows a single SATA controller port to drive up to fifteen storage devices.

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Many motherboards offer a "Legacy Mode" option, which makes SATA drives appear to the OS like PATA drives on a standard controller.

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SCSI buses allow connection of several drives on one shared channel, whereas SATA allows one drive per channel, unless using a port multiplier.

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Inexpensive ATA and SATA drives evolved in the home-computer market, hence there is a view that they are less reliable.

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