In collaboration with AMD, Seagate announced Monday its demonstration of a new hard drive Serial ATA (SATA) interface, tentatively called SATA3, that offers speeds up to 6Gbps, or 600MBps. (SATA3, or SATA 6GB/second, was developed by the Serial ATA International Organization under the Serial ATA Revision 3.0 specifications.) Currently most consumer-grade computers use either the SATA or SATA2 interface that offers cap throughput speeds of 1.5Gbps and 3Gbps, respectively, or 150MBps and 300MBps. However, itâ??s important to note that because of software and hardware overhead, the actual speed of most SATA hard drives is still less than 200MBps.
The new interface will raise the ceiling of hard drive throughput speeds by 200 percent, and hopefully the actual transfer speed of hard drives will increase accordingly. The new interface will be backward compatible with the existing SATA and SATA2 interfaces and share the same cables and connectors. SATA3 also enhances power efficiency and improves native command queuing, an inherent features of SATA standard, to increase overall system performance and data transfer speeds. Right now, SATA3 is still in the final phase of development and there arenâ??t any actual products yet. AMD said it would fully support the technology with a revision of its current 750 chipset and future chipsets. According to Seagate, however, you can expect the first SATA3-based hard drive by the end of the year.