December 2006
Volume 1, Issue 4

In this Issue:

SATA II Terminology Continues to Cause Confusion
Tech Talk–News About SATA-IO Testing
SATA-IO Revision 2.6 Specification
SATA-IO Test Houses Now Available!
SATA-IO Integrators List Make Sure Your Product is Listed!
SATA-IO Off to the Races; Storage World Conference Boston and IDF

Membership Update

These industry leaders are proud new members of SATA-IO:


Aslink (H.K.) Precision Co., Ltd.

ASUSTeK Computer Inc
Ease Software, Inc.
Entery Industrial Co., Ltd.
Hagiwara Sys-Com Co., Ltd.
HighPoint Technologies, Inc.
IntellaSys Corp.
RMI-Raza Microelectronics, Inc
ROHM Co., Ltd
Sony NEC Optiarc Inc.
Taiwin Electronics Co., Ltd.
Y.C. Cable USA, Inc

SATA II Terminology Continues to Cause Confusion
By Joni Clark, Seagate, SATA-IO Marketing Chair

Yes, folks SATA II is the term that never dies, but it should! Is SATA II an accurate marketing name – No!  Does it mean anything – No! Does SATA II have a common meaning – No. Is it a term that everyone throws around ad hoc – Yes!  It confuses customers, they don’t understand why one vendor will name his product SATA II but it doesn’t support NCQ or SATA 3Gb/s.

Several years ago a naming guideline was presented and approved by the SATA-IO marketing team. The naming guideline was designed to provide a concise method for adequately describing the version of SATA speed your device operated at and what features your device supported. Here’s a great example from a couple of our members:

Western Digital
SATA Hard Drives
500 GB, 3.0 Gb/s, 16 MB Cache, 7200 RPM
1.2 million hours MTBF
5-year limited warranty

Capacity:120 GB
Speed:7200 rpm
Seek time:N/A ms avg
Interface:SATA 3Gb/s

For some vendors SATA II may mean SATA 3Gb/s without NCQ and for another it could mean SATA 1.5Gb/s with NCQ. This is exactly what is frustrating to customers and integrators.

Remember to keep interface marketing simple, clear and correct: 
Product name + SATA speed + SATA Features supported.  

Deskstar E7K500
SATA 3Gb/s with Native Command Queuing

The official naming guideline is located on the web site.
Visit these product Web sites for additional examples of correct product naming

Hewlett Packard

Hitachi GST

Silicon Image

Tech Talk – News About SATA-IO Testing

The SATA-IO hosted another successful series of testing events during the October 2006 Plugfest #7 and Interop Workshop #2. Throughout the week more than 250 attendees participated in the SATA-IO testing events, which included a Tuesday night Industry Forum for discussing topics related to eSATA, the SATA 2.6 specification, and industry growth.

SATA-IO also included host testing for products attending the 2nd Interop Workshop. Products that successfully completed Interop testing will soon be posted on the SATA-IO Integrators List, which represents the official list of SATA-IO approved products.

If you were unable to attend these events, please continue to visit our web site for additional information on SATA-IO’s Spring testing events.

SATA-IO would also like to thank our event sponsors for their support!

SATA Sponsors      

SATA-IO Revision 2.6 Specification
By Amber Huffman, Intel, SATA-IO Technical Integration Chair

The Technical Integration team is developing the Revision 2.6 specification to deliver new capabilities for the SATA-IO community. Revision 2.6 includes several new cable and connector enhancements ranging from an internal slimline cable and connector for small form factor mobile ATAPI applications to an internal micro connector for 1.8” HDD applications. Updates in command capabilities are also included, an example is an extension to Native Command Queuing for comprehending priority in complex workload environments. Revision 2.6 is an evolution of the initial consolidated specification, building on that momentum, and will be published in Q1 of 2007.

All 2.5 errata and the following new features/enhancements are included:

  • Internal Slimline cable and connector
  • Internal Micro SATA connector for 1.8” HDD
  • Mini SATA Internal Multilane cable and connector
  • Mini SATA External Multilane cable and connector
  • NCQ Priority
  • NCQ Unload
  • Enhancements to the BIST Activate FIS
  • Enhancements for robust reception of the Signature FIS

SATA-IO Integrators List – Make Sure Your Product is Listed!
By Conrad Maxwell, Silicon Image, SATA-IO Marketing Team

The Integrators List includes all products that have passed the SATA Interoperability tests, either during a SATA-IO Interoperability Workshop or by testing conducted by an approved third party test lab. In order to have your company’s product listed on the Integrators List, plan to attend the next SATA-IO Interoperability Workshop or contact one of the SATA-IO approved test labs. Once your product receives a passing result from the Interop tests, your product will be added to the Integrators List and featured as one of the SATA-IO approved products!

Integrators List Benefits

  1. Recognition as an approved SATA-IO product!
  2. Company contact information included with product listing!
  3. Product listing includes your product’s SATA-IO approved features!
  4. Categorized product listing for cables, HDDs, ODDs, and hosts!
  5. Customized search so customers can narrow their search for your product!

Be sure your product is included in the official list of SATA-IO approved products! 

SATA-IO Test Houses – Now Available!
By Jeff Wolford, SATA-IO Logo Chair

Were you unable to test your product at the SATA-IO Interoperability Workshop in October? Is your product ready for Interoperability Testing and you want to test your product before the SATA-IO Interoperability Workshop in Spring 2007? We have a solution!

The SATA-IO Logo Work Group is proud to announce the approval of two independent test labs: Allion and UNH-IOL. Both test labs are approved to provide complete SATA device Interoperability Program (Revision 1.0) testing.  Additional details and contact information can be found on the SATA-IO Independent Test Labs Web page.

Please contact the Logo Work Group with any additional questions regarding testing requirements or information on approved SATA-IO test labs.

SATA-IO Off to the Races; Storage World Conference Boston and IDF
By Melissa Johnson, Seagate, SATA-IO Marketing Team

By equating the speed of the SATA interface with the speed of car racing, the SATA-IO group gave the green flag during two large industry trade shows in September. The industry group hosted a car racing-themed informational booth at both the Storage World Conference in Boston and the IDF Fall conference in San Francisco. Members of the interoperability group volunteered their time to educate attendees about the benefits of the SATA interface and the perks of becoming part of the SATA-IO Integrators List.  Both shows were fantastic venues to deliver the SATA message and proved to be a success in attracting new IO members. Stay tuned for upcoming SATA-IO attended shows and stop by to get your official SATA racing hat!

San Fransico Booth storageworldbooth

Joni Clark, SATA-IO marketing chair, talks about the latest eSATA news with Charlie Demerjian, a reporter with The Inquirer (UK).

SATA-IO Booth at Storage World Conference in Boston

Please submit any future article ideas and topics to Joni Clark, SATA-IO Marketing Chair, Seagate.

SATA-IO Administration