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NOTICE TO NVMEQRWT, NVMETEST,
There is a new interface that will probably replace SATA (and SCSI SAS) within a few years. This interface is NVM Express or NVME. SATA and SCSI SAS are limited by the physical I/O architecture to a few thousand I/O commands per second. NVME can achieve millions of I/O commands per second. If you are currently working on SATA products we strongly suggest you start learning about NVME as it has a very good chance of being the primary storage device interface of the future.
But a note of warning about the NVME specification: The NVME specification is without question the worst written storage device specification of all time. Many people have very different ideas as to what the document says or does not say.
SATA is a serial interface that emulates PATA. SATA has replaced PATA in nearly all low cost storage systems and devices. This includes HDD, SSD and CD/DVD devices.
Around the time that SATA was becoming popular the T13 standards committee separated the ATA command set from the two physical interfaces. Starting with ATA/ATAPI-7 there are separate standards documents for the ATA Command Set (ACS), ATA Parallel Transport (APT) and ATA Serial Transport (AST). The ACS, APT and AST standards now move forward on separate schedules so now there are multiple versions of ACS-x, APT-x and AST-x. However, remember that AST-x is only a document that maps ATA to the SATA-I/O specification that is from the SATA-I/O committee. Also be aware that recently there have been many SCSI features that have been stuffed into ATA with varying degrees of success.
PATA is the traditional ATA interface that has been standardized for 25+ years by the ANSI/INCITS ATA-1 through ATA/ATAPI-8 standards. This interface is widely used by low cost disk drives and ATAPI CD/DVD and tape drives. PCMCIA PC Card ATA devices and Compact Flash (CF) devices also use a PATA based interface (for example, the CF TrueIDE interfae). A Parallel ATA/ATAPI interface can support one or two devices. The devices can be ATA or ATAPI or a mix.
Here are links to major organizations that publish I/O interface and storage device standards, specifications and other information:
The Berg Software Design web site is a great resouce for finding information, products and services for all I/O interfaces.
If you need serious ATA design or development help for your ATA/ATAPI project, contact Deadline Specialists.
Notice to anyone providing a link to this site: Please provide a link only to http://www.ata-atapi.com. Any other link, including links that specify additional directory or file information, are subject to change and may not work in the future.
Page updated 01 Jan 2022.