What is SATA ?

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What is SATA 2, SATA 3, ESATA, MSATA, SATA Express Port ?

Serial ATA is a computer bus interface. It connects host bus adapters to mass storage devices such as hard disk drives, optical drives, and solid-state drives. Serial ATA (SATA Port) succeeded the earlier Parallel ATA standard & became the primary interface for the storage devices.

Key points included


  • Serial ATA, Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) is an evolution of the Parallel ATA (PATA) Interface. It was developed for connecting a host system to peripheral devices. The devices, such as hard disk drives, optical storage drives, ssds etc.
  • The need for increased data transfer rates drove the move from a parallel bus interconnect to a serial interconnect.
  • With a 16 bit parallel data bus, signal cross-talk, among other things, became a problem. These problems were resolved by using serial architecture with differential signals instead of a parallel bus architecture. The cabling used with a serial interconnect is less complex and is physically smaller than what is used with a 16 bit parallel bus.
  • A 40 pin cable is required for PATA connections, while comparing to a 7 pin cable for SATA connections. PATA cables have a maximum length of about 18 inches when compared to SATA Cables. SATA cables comes in length meter or more.
  • Since the cabling in serial connections is physically smaller, it allows more flexibility in system design and allows for more storage devices to be installed in the same location without the concern of large bulky cabling.  


  • SATA II is a Second Generation SATA interface running at 3.0 Gb/s.
  • The interface supports bandwidth throughput up to 300MB/s and a cable length of up to one meter.


  • SATA III is a Third Generation SATA interface running at 6 Gb/s.
  • The interface supports bandwidth throughput up to 600MB/s, supports a cable length of up to one meter, and is backwards compatible with SATA 3 Gb/s interface.


  • External SATA, or eSATA, uses more robust connectors and supports a cable length of up to 2 meters.


  • In 2009, miniSATA or mSATA was introduced in 2009.
  • Applications include netbooks and other devices required a smaller solid-state drive.
  • The connector of it is similar in appearance to a PCI Express Mini Card interface and is electrically compatible to the board.


  • Serial ATA International Organization developed a new specification know as SATA Express. It combines SATA software infrastructure with the PCI Express® (PCIe®) interface to deliver high-speed storage solutions.
  • SATA Express enables the development of new devices that utilize & use the PCIe interface and maintain compatibility with existing SATA applications.
  • The technology will provide a cost-effective means to increase device interface speeds to 8Gb/s and 16Gb/s.
Sata Express port
SATA Express

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