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INFO: What is Serial ATA (SATA)?

An example of SATA ports on a motherboard.
Serial ATA or SATA is a computer bus interface designed to connect host bus adapters to mass storage devices such as hard disk drives and optical drives. SATA was designed to replace the older Parallel ATA or PATA, also known as IDE or EIDE. SATA does not use slave/master states, instead each drive is given an individual numbered port on the motherboard and the drives use that port number for identification, making it easier to install a SATA drive as it uses no jumper settings.



An example of a right-angle SATA data cable.










There are currently three versions of SATA which are all compatible with one another. The first SATA interface was SATAI, also known as SATA 1.5 because of its 1.5 Gb/s transfer rate. The second was SATA II, also known as SATA 3.0 because of its 3.0 Gb/s transfer rate. The latest is SATA III, also known as SATA 6.0 because of its 6.0 Gb/s transfer rate.




An example of the SATA power connector.

Serial ATA also uses a power connection that is different than IDE/EIDE. The Serial ATA connection allows a smart, power-saving connection to the power supply.









Reference:
Images from Wikipedia, all released under the GNU License: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA