Short for serial AT attachment, SATA 1.0 was first released in August 2001 and is a replacement for the parallel ATA interface used in IBM compatible computers. SerialATA is capable of delivering 1.5 Gbps (approximately 187 MBps) of performance to each drive within a disk array. It has the benefit of being backward-compatible with ATA and ATAPI devices, and offers a thin, small cable solution, as seen in the photo on the right. This cable helps make a much easier cable routing and offers better airflow in the computer when compared to the earlier ribbon cables used with ATA drives.
SATA also supports external drives through External SATA more commonly known as eSATA. eSATA offers many more advantages when compared to other solutions. For example, it is hot-swappable, supports faster transfer speeds with no bottleneck issues like USB and FireWire, and supports disk drive technologies such as S.M.A.R.T..
However, eSATA does have some disadvantages such as not distributing power through the cable like USB, which means drives require an external power source. The eSATA cable also supports a maximum length of up to 2 meters. Because of these disadvantages don't plan on eSATA becoming the only external solution for computers.
What hardware uses the SATA cable?
How many pins does SATA have?
There are two types of SATA cables. The SATA data cable that transmits the data between the drive and the motherboard has seven pins. The SATA power cable that connects to the power supply has fifteen pins.