SATA Connector

Technology has improved by leaps and bounds over the past decade, especially when it comes to computer parts and peripherals. In the past, slow and sluggish hard drives were made even slower because of inefficient connectors that relayed information from the hard drive to the motherboard, which is the platform inside your computer that makes sense of all the date running to and from the CPU.

These old connections were called advanced technology attachment, or ATA’s. They were gray in color and had a red stripe that annotated how the connector should be plugged in. They were big and took a lot of room inside of the average computer case.

The ATA connectors used 16 conductors, at a very low speed, in order to pass information to the motherboard. Using these was like trying to blow through a straw, regardless of how much power you have, getting it through such a slow outlet would clog processing.

Now, thanks to advancements in technology, the next level of ATA connectors, called Serial ATA’s, have made computers much faster and more reliable. These connectors transfer information from hard drives to what are called bus’s, which then moves to the motherboard. In their original design, they transferred data at a rate of 1.5 Gbit/s, but usually clocked out at around 1.2 GBit/s.

Although it was possible to increase their speed using the same technology, the issue was the bus’s that could not handle more than 1 process at a time, meaning that there was a waiting time anyway. However, once that issue was resolved and proprietary solutions began to surface, a new generation of SATA devices and connectors was able to add a 2nd layer and essential double the speed to 3 Gbit/s.

The great thing about SATA 2.0 devices was that they could operate at both 1.0 and 2.0 levels, depending on the device in which they were connected to. This meant that 2.0 connectors could be shipped as standard, and would work with old devices, while still pushing hardware manufacturers to move their technology to the 2.0 status.

Once again, technology kept improving and SATA 3.0 was developed, which again doubled the speed. Operating now at 6 Gbits/s, devices had grown dramatically faster and now could keep pace with high powered graphics cards and high powered hard drives. SATA drives were able to be built at faster speeds, at higher storage capacities, and at lower prices than ever before.

At this time, the standard SATA device was an internal device that had to be installed within a case, but eventually they developed external SATA devices, which made it easy to create portable devices and increase the overall capacity of most PC units.

As these units continue to improve, you can bet that we will be seeing 12.0 devices relatively soon. If that does not happen, I expect a new technology to emerge that takes the place of SATA. The problem with this would be that existing drives would either have to be replaced or retrofitted, and as so much of the technology sector has already invested in SATA technology, it would seem that a transition might take longer than the time necessary to develop the new technology.

Still, although there are a few problems with SATA devices, such as noise and a large need for power, on the whole they are much faster and more efficient than anything we have ever seen. SATA have allowed hardware manufactures to test the limits of speed and storage, while still keeping prices low and affordable to the average consumer. Currently, nearly all units are shipped with SATA enabled devices.

This SATA Connector Review is Written/Updated on Jun 3rd, 2010 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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