December 2007
Volume 2, Issue 4

In this Issue:

SATA-IO Grows to 200 Member Companies
Next-Gen SATA: 6Gb Available in Early 2008
Get Connected via the Multi-laneTM Expressway
Fall 2007 Event Recap
Web Site Links Available for Member Company Press Releases
Add or Update Products on the SATA Everywhere List

Membership Update

The following industry leaders are proud new members of SATA-IO:

Areca Technology Corporation

Exceltek Electronics Ltd.

Formation, Inc.
High-Top Precision Electronic Co., Ltd
IO Interconnect
Lattice Semiconductor
Lin Shiung Enterprise Co., Ltd.
MoSys Inc
Oversea Win Science and Technology Co., Ltd.
Phison Electronics
Quanta Storage Inc
Somagic Inc
Taisol Electronics Co., Ltd.
Taitwun Enterprise Co., Ltd.
Tamagawa Denki, Ltd.
ViXS Systems, Inc

SATA-IO Grows to 200 Member Companies

We are pleased to announce that SATA-IO has grown to 200 member companies. This important milestone affirms the value members place on our work to drive industry adoption of standardized specifications for the SATA interface. The results are reflected in the increasing dominance of SATA technology in the storage market as well as its enviable prospects for the years ahead.

Next-Gen SATA: 6Gb Available in First Half of 2008

Expect to see the SATA 6Gb/s specification available and ready for implementation in the first half of 2008. During the past year, the SATA-IO 6Gb PHY group has been working diligently to develop the next generation of the Serial ATA specification: SATA 6Gb/s, short for its six-gigabits- per-second data transfer speed. The group is currently wrapping up the development of the third-generation spec, which will double the bandwidth of the current 3Gb/s spec.

SATA 6Gb/s will enable consumers to move large amounts of data at a faster rate. As end-users amass ever-increasing amounts of high-res photos, videos, music, and other data, basic data transfer rates become crucial.

To expedite time-to-market for SATA 6Gb/s, little was changed in the existing spec beyond doubling the bandwidth. In order to minimize changes to existing implementations and infrastructure, no other new 6Gb/s-specific features will be introduced. Protocol changes are not required for 6Gb/s; the third-generation technology will remain as simple as in previous generations to make it backward compatible with 3Gb/s and 1.5 Gb/s SATA. In addition, no training or complex equalization methodologies such as DFE (Decision Feedback Equalization) or FFE (Forward Feedback Equalization) will be required, which maintains the low cost and low power for SATA 6Gb/s.  And the same cables and connectors can be used for 6Gb/s as are used for the current SATA generation, but it is recommended to use quality components to ensure reliable operation at 6Gb/s.

With the forthcoming 6Gb/s spec, SATA also moves deep into the microwave realm. Despite the challenges associated with such high frequency operation, the third-generation SATA will maintain backward compatibility with earlier generations, as well as maintain its status as the optimal low cost, low power interface. 

Following the release of SATA 6Gb/s, the next major project for the SATA 6G PHY work group will be the specification for external SATA (eSATA) at 6Gb/s. The work group will begin to tackle that challenge in the coming year, after the SATA 6Gb/s spec for internal applications is completed

Get Connected via the Multi-laneTM Expressway

High port count SATA RAID controllers drive the need for better and more secure ways to connect SATA ports to drives and backplanes.  Multi-lane cable designs enable highly reliable and streamlined enterprise-class SATA storage solutions by greatly reducing the number of cables needed to connect controllers, backplanes, and standard SATA drives in both internal and external storage environments. 

Multi-lane cable/connection systems are fast, secure, simple, and clutter free.  They combine the RAID controller’s multiple SATA ports into single locked connections.  Up to eight high speed 3Gb/s lanes of SATA traffic travel through just one cable from the RAID controller to the system backplane or to multiple hard drives when using a Multi-lane breakout cable.  That means a 24-port Multi-lane SATA controller needs only three cables.

Multi-lane Benefits

  • Multiple lanes of high speed SATA traffic through a single cable
  • Reduced cable count for increased system reliability and convenience
  • Streamlined storage
  • Locked connections
  • Improved airflow

Some controller vendors get bogged down with distractions stemming from the plethora of Multi-lane connector permutations.  Others successfully avoid the cable quagmire by focusing on cables as an opportunity to add further value for their customers.

Fall 2007 Event Recap

Fall IDF: San Francisco

SATA-IO’s booth at the Intel Developer Forum was well visited by attendees as well as press and industry analysts. Attendees were updated on the SATA 2.6 specification enhancements and the progress of the next generation SATA specification, which is scheduled to be available within the first half of 2008. SATA-IO continued to promote the value of the Interoperability Program, Plugfests, and Interoperability Workshops. Promotion also began for the up-coming SATA Everywhere Product List, which is a publicly searchable database of SATA related products.  SATA-IO members provided a variety of product packaging to illustrate the reach of the SATA technology.

Plugfest #9 and Interop Workshop #4: November 12 – 16, 2007

SATA-IO hosted the ninth successful Plugfest and fourth Interop Workshop. With more than 145 attendees and five days of workshops, SATA-IO tested more than 50 products.

Be sure to keep an eye out for new product additions to the Integrators List!

SATA-IO thanks the following sponsors for their support:


Industry Forum: November 12, 2007

Conrad Maxwell, SATA-IO Marketing Chairman, and event sponsors BERTScope, Finisar, and Tektronix addressed more than 75 attendees at SATA-IO’s fourth Industry Forum. Highlighted at the event was SATA’s dominance in the desktop and notebook HDD markets and, as a continuation of the May Industry Forum, emphasis of SATA outselling PATA and SAS by more than 2:1. Conrad also addressed the new SATA Everywhere List, which is a publicly searchable product database for members and non members to post their SATA related products. The event closed with Conrad’s presentation on updates about the SATA-IO Interoperability Program.

Event sponsors BERTScope, Finisar, and Tektronix also spoke to attendees about tools for supporting improved SATA testing. Yamini Shastry from Finisar highlighted the company’s Xgig Product Family, a Serial ATA Testing and Analysis Tool Set. John Calvin from Tektronix illustrated automated compliance testing solutions while Pamela Lawson with BERTScope addressed the value of the SATA-IO Interoperability Program.

The event presentations are available for download from the Members Only area of the SATA-IO Web site.

Web Site Links Available for Member Company Press Releases

We would like to remind you of an important member benefit. We can establish links to member company press releases that highlight SATA technology from the SATA-IO Web site. If you would like to take advantage of this added promotional opportunity, please provide SATA-IO PR at with the date and headline of the news release and its URL on your company Web site. We’ll list that information on the news page of the SATA-IO Web site in the section entitled SATA in the News".

Reminder: Add or Update Products on the SATA Everywhere List

The SATA Everywhere List is available for Members and Non Members to post their SATA products. Please visit the SATA Everywhere Product Database to upload your company’s products to this beneficial industry resource.

Please submit any future article ideas and topics to Conrad Maxwell, SATA-IO Marketing Chair, Silicon Image.

SATA-IO Administration