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.
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.
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.