Serial ATA in Mini Format: 2.5" Disk Drive from Fujitsu

Serial ATA To Go - 2.5" Hard Disks From Fujitsu

A lot of promises were made regarding Serial ATA. Seagate in particular was keen to be the first to get Serial ATA products to market. Nevertheless, although the controllers are available, they are not available everywhere yet. Fujitsu has now jumped on the Serial ATA wagon - not with products for the desktop market, but with their new 2.5" hard disks for laptops.

Serial ATA for laptops - what exactly is the point? Serial ATA offers no benefits for those interested in speed. Its real justification is in ease of use. Connect one easy-to-fit plug, and you're in business. Then there is the matter of the cables, which, with Serial ATA, can be up to one meter long. Instead of forty 5 V pins, Serial ATA gets by with just six 500 mV pins. One thing is clear: UltraATA/ 100 is no friend of miniaturization. The controllers, the connectors and the cables are all too big.

Serial ATA holds the promise of lower costs in the medium term for manufacturers of mainstream laptops - at least as soon as chipsets with an integrated Serial ATA controller become available. Manufacturers are in a quandary here. They certainly don't seem to be rushing to adopt the new technology. This is understandable, since they would not be able to shift the SATA chipsets if the necessary drives were actually more expensive than standard drives.

We will first look at the new Fujitsu drive from a more conventional point of view - how fast it is and how it compares with IDE drives already on the market. By way of comparison, we looked at a number of laptop hard disks.