Seagate and AMD Demo the Future of SATA

Seagate teamed up with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) to unveil the world’s first demo of the next-generation SATA 6Gigabit/second at the Everything Channel Xchange Conference in New Orleans. The demo focused on high bandwidth performance for desktop and laptop personal computer applications, including gaming, streaming video, and graphics.
The official Serial ATA 6Gb/second storage logo. (Credit: SATA-IO) 
The official Serial ATA
6Gb/second storage logo
(Credit: SATA-IO)

The upcoming Serial ATA (SATA) 6Gb/second storage interface will provide the maximum performance with burst speeds of up to 6Gigabits per second while preserving backward compatibility with existing SATA2 3Gb/second and SATA1 1.5Gb/second interfaces. This interface also utilizes the same cables and connectors as to better work with previous SATA generations.

 
Another interesting feature of this third generation interface is its power efficiency advancements and Native Command Queuing development. A special focus was placed on applications requiring heavy transactional workloads; for instance scientific modelling, forecasting, and engineering design and simulation.
 
“The increasing reliance of consumers and businesses worldwide on digital information is giving rise to gaming, digital video and audio, streaming video, graphics and other applications that require even more bandwidth, driving demand for PC interfaces that can carry even more digital content,” said Joan Motsinger, Seagate vice president of Personal Systems Marketing and Strategy.
 Seagate 6 Gb SATA in action (Credit: Seagate)
Seagate 6 Gb SATA in action (Credit: Seagate)

Seagate picked up AMD to exhibit its new venture with PCs capable of handling high bandwidths. “AMD strives to deliver platform technology that our technology partners can use to create high- performance desktop and laptop PCs,” said Leslie Sobon, vice president of Product Marketing, AMD.

 
The demonstration introduced two Seagate SATA disk drives; one was an existing Barracuda 7200.12 3Gb/second hard drive and the other a prototype Barracuda 6Gb/second drive. Both were used in the same desktop PC to illustrate the performance variation involving the two generations. The PC was powered by an AMD prototype SATA 6Gb/second chipset. The results of the demonstration were displayed on the PC monitor and showed that the 3Gb/second drive runs at more than 2.5Gigabits per second while the new SATA 6Gb/second drive was able to push data at 5.5Gigabits per second.
 
The latest Serial ATA 6Gb/second standards were expanded by the Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) under the Serial ATA Revision 3.0 specification.
Fast transfer rates, low cost, and efficient protocol made SATA the mainstream storage interface of choice and by doubling transfer speeds and maintaining backward compatibility, it is hoped that new specification will make Serial ATA an attractive solution for consumers and businesses alike.
 
Seagate’s Serial ATA 6 Gb/sec interfaces will ship on products in late 2009.
 
TFOT has previously covered another upcoming protocol – USB 3.0, also known as SuperSpeed USB, that should reach the market in about a year’s time. TFOT also covered the OCZ external SATA (eSATA) and USB drive called OCZ Throttle, launched in 2008. 
 
Additional information on Serial ATA (SATA) 6Gb/second storage can be obtained at Seagate’s website and information on the upcoming protocol can be retrieved from the SATA-IO website.