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

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 6 comments

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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  • 0 Hide
    jimmysmitty , August 22, 2008 1:07 PM
    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.
  • 1 Hide
    Luscious , August 22, 2008 1:15 PM
    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!
  • 0 Hide
    SomeJoe7777 , August 22, 2008 2:55 PM
    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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    dreamer77dd , August 23, 2008 7:42 AM
    Well as i see it SATA has bin around for awhile and why not nkae another one that will be around for awhile or at least leave the door open for developers nd engineers to drea up stuff instead of putting a handicap on it. lets make it 20 gigs, ifi am hearing things right more cores, more software, more graphics cards... and of course more SSD. If they make SSD that have 30x the speed of hard drives, the price for them would not matter to me. i am paying for performance just liek people buying sports cars. They don't needed it but they sure do want it. In 5 years he price will be very low, jst like everything. playstation 3 was extremely expensive now only 300$ or something. things change and you have to prepare for that which i do not think SATA 3.0 is doing.
  • 0 Hide
    I , August 25, 2008 2:29 PM
    It is pointless to think in terms of the SATA port needing to be faster than the real, theoretical potential of any future device connected to it, because it never can be, parallel (in time, not computer busses) technology developments will always make it true. Short bus low latency DRAM caching for example, will always be faster than an extended length serial bus, they can't just "choose" to make SATA faster because it is impossible and always will be unless they went back to paralleled (serial) busses which is the opposite of what everyone who fawned over SATA's early benefits wanted.

    600MB/s is enough. Even SATA2 is enough. Something has to be the bottleneck, it would be silly to make everything constantly change and that at higher expense for everyone just to try and gain a tiny percentage in an unusual situation. That's why more exotic connect tech exists, SATA3 is supposed to be the cheap solution for the masses.
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    I , August 25, 2008 2:31 PM
    Oops, sorry Somejoe, make that SATA300/600.