IDF 2008: New SATA Standard Expands To 600 MB/s, Enables Next Phase For SSD Performance

Chicago (IL) - SATA 3.0 has made its first appearance at IDF, as peripherals are slowly but surely approaching the limits of SATA or SATA-II. The latest SSDs are hitting data transfer rates of 250 MB/s, close the theoretical maximum of 300 MB/s of SATA-II.

Visitors at this year’s Fall IDF were able to see the initial SATA 3.0 specification, which will expand the bandwidth of the interface standard from 3 Gbits/sec. (300 MB/sec.) to 6 Gbits/sec. (600 MB/sec.). It is interesting to note that the SATA 3.0 spec equals the bandwidth offered by the original SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) specification. By doubling the speed from 2.0 and 3.0, the standards body is hoping that the bandwidth of SATA 3.0 spec will be sufficient for the next couple of years.

We are not so sure. Given the speed increase of SSDs over the past 12 months, we would suspect that 6 Gb/s could last for 12 months, especially if we consider the fact that SATA 3.0 devices are in development already. And companies such as Fusion-IO offer products hitting 2GB/s speeds, which means that even 600 MB/s is not enough.

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  • jimmysmitty
    Well SSDs may be close to hitting the speeds allowed by the interface but they are still very expensive and traditional HDDs still have a bit of life in them so this speed boost will benefit there a bit.
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  • Luscious
    Bandwidth speed is one thing, drive transfer rates are another. Make me a drive that can actually "push" 300MB/sec and SataIII may have a chance. Put a drive like that on laptop with an eSata port and I'm buying in!
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  • SomeJoe7777
    Stop using the incorrect terms "SATA 3.0", "SATA III", and "SATA II". They cause confusion because they imply that there are multiple standards when there are not. SATA is ONE standard.

    The Serial ATA Organization (www.sata-io.org) has very specific guidelines for how to refer to the revisions of the standard and how to refer to the data transfer rates. See http://www.sata-io.org/6gbnamingguidelines.asp for the proper way to reference the name of the standard and the transfer rate spec.
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