With SATA 6Gb/s Specification Coming, SATA-IO Provides Naming Guidance


Confused by terms like SATA II , SATA Gen 2 , and SATA 3Gb/s ? You're not alone. With today's release (link in PDF format) of the PHY (physical layer) portion of the forthcoming SATA revision 3.0 specification (details here ), SATA-IO, the trade association responsible for defining Serial ATA specifications, is trying hard to stomp out the many misidentifications of SATA specifications and features over the years.

SATA revision 3.0 doubles the speed of the current 3Gb/s version, reaching transfer speeds of 6Gb/s. So, what should you call the newest member of the SATA specifications family? According to the SATA Naming Guidelines, here's what to do :

  • The first reference in a document should read: "Serial ATA International Organization: Serial ATA Revision 3.0." Additional references can be to either "SATA Revision 3.0" or "SATA 6Gb/s."

SATA-IO is also serious about cleaning up the confusion surrounding current technologies and products as well:

  • Don't use "SATA I" or "Gen 1": instead, use "SATA Revision 1.x" or "SATA first generation" or "SATA 1.5Gb/s."
  • Likewise, "SATA II" or "SATA Gen 2" are also on the "don't talk that way" list, replaced by "SATA Revision 2.x" or "SATA second generation" or "SATA 3.0Gb/s."

The SATA Naming Guidelines page includes a useful table for helping computer users, marketers, technical writers (like yours truly) and others properly describe the three generations of SATA drives and devices. With SATA Revision 3.0 expecting to be ratified by the end of the year, here's hoping this initiative will help undo the years of confusion over SATA.

Look for the SATA Label...

SATA-IO is also working to make sure that SATA devices work properly, with today's launch of its certified logo program (link in PDF format). To learn more about SATA-IO, see the SATA-IO website.

Mystery Solved!

So, where did the term SATA II come from? SATA II was the original name of the current SATA International Organization (SATA-IO).

Illustration courtesy of SATA-IO .

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