SATA 3.0 is now official, SSD bonanza can begin

With everything being prepared for next weeks’ Computex Taipei tradeshow, SATA-IO published the final SATA Rev 3.0 spec. Now, time for some SATA 3.0 motherboards…Computex Taipei 2009 will open its doors on Tuesday – June 2nd, 2009 – and there will be a plethora of motherboards and storage components claiming to be SATA-III or SATA 6Gbps compliant.

In order for that to happen, the Serial ATA International Organization e.g. SATA-IO had to put amen on the final version of SATA Revision 3.0. Just like every revision so far, SATA 3.0 is backwards compatible with SATA 2.0 and 1.0 standards from one side, and SAS 1.0 and 2.0 from another. One must admit, the idea to put Serial ATA and Serial Attached SCSI on the same cable was a work of genius. Truth to be told, this completes the full circle, since originally ATA was brought forward to create a cheaper way to connect storage from then only-existing SCSI.

The most touted one is the increase of maximum transfer speed to 750 MB/s e.g. 6 Gbps. While SSDs are gaining in speed, this number should not be reached during 2010… maybe. Besides the speed, the 3.0 spec also brings two new features for NCQ [ Native Command Queuing] – a management feature that should optimize performance, while streaming command enables isochronous data transfers for bandwidth-intensive apps [read – audio, video streams].

The last change comes in the form of a new SATA connector – the SATA-IO group went on to improve the mini-SATA connector for 1.8" hard disks and those 7mm-thick optical disk drives. All in all – SATA 3.0 will define storage during 2009 and probably take over the market share in 2010. We wonder how long it will take for a new connector to take off in netbooks.