October 2008
Volume 3, Issue 3

In this Issue:

SATA-IO Announces Release of SATA 6Gb/s PHY Specification
New SATA-IO Logo Certification Program Debuts
SATA-IO Exhibits at Intel Developer Forum

The following industry leaders are proud new members of SATA-IO:

CoreSolid Storage Corporation

ETRON Technology, Inc.

Hynix Semiconductor Inc.
  nSys Design Systems Pvt Ltd
  Pericom Semiconductor
  Swissbit AG
  Tech - Technologist Purchasing

SATA-IO Announces Release of SATA 6Gb/s PHY Specification

SATA-IO recently released to members the physical layer (PHY) portion of its third generation storage interface, which will be defined in the upcoming SATA Revision 3.0 specification. This move ushers in a new generation of faster SATA 6Gb/s products. Developers can now begin designing products based on SATA 6Gb/s technology as work continues on the SATA Revision 3.0 specification, which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2009.

Various SATA-IO work groups are engaged in the process of readying new features for incorporation in the final version of the SATA Revision 3.0 specification. These features will include advances for data streaming and better power management.

The new specification will double the maximum transfer speed from 3 to 6 Gb/s. This will enable large amounts of data to be moved at even faster rates, a key advantage as end-users amass ever-increasing amounts of high-resolution photos, videos, music and other multimedia files.

The new specification will maintain the low cost and low power for which the popular storage interface is acclaimed. In addition, backward compatibility with earlier SATA implementations will be maintained by keeping the existing SATA connector configuration, preserving its inherent cost-conscious design while minimizing changes to existing implementations and infrastructures. The same cables and connectors used for current SATA implementations can be used to connect SATA 6Gb/s devices, although SATA-IO recommends utilizing quality components to ensure data integrity and robust operation at the fast 6Gb/s transfer rate.

Please call this new specification by its proper name: "Serial ATA International Organization: Serial ATA Revision 3.0". After using the full proper name for the first reference, it would be appropriate to refer to it thereafter more briefly as "SATA Revision 3.0" or "SATA 6Gb/s." It also would be appropriate to refer to the latest specification as being the "third generation of SATA technology". For marketing and product naming purposes, the technology itself is to be referred to as "SATA 6Gb/s." A product using this standard should be called the "SATA 6Gb/s [product name]." SATA-IO has posted naming guidelines on the Web site to help the industry correctly identify SATA specifications, technologies, and products.

New SATA-IO Logo Certification Program Debuts

SATA-IO has unveiled a new logo certification program that will enable devices passing SATA-IO interoperability testing to bear the SATA certified logos, indicating adherence to the SATA specifications.

With the advent of the logo program, all products achieving SATA-IO Integrators List status will be able to use the SATA certified logos on sales collateral, product packaging and other marketing materials. Devices on the Integrators List have undergone extensive testing for specification compliance, thereby assuring a high level of interoperability with other certified devices. The addition of the certified logo to this process provides another level of awareness of SATA technology within the industry and enables manufacturers to quickly and easily identify SATA certified products. Establishing the logo certification program is an important step toward continuing to raise awareness of SATA-IO in the industry. As the industry moves towards devices operating at higher speeds, the certification process becomes increasingly critical for ensuring high-quality product performance.

Once the legal and administrative details are finalized, interested members who have products currently on the SATA-IO Integrators List will be asked to sign a logo usage agreement in order to display the appropriate certified logo on sales collateral and other marketing materials. In the future, the logo usage agreement will be offered to all members with products that achieve Integrator List status.

Stay tuned for more information on the logo certification program in the coming months!

SATA-IO Exhibits at Intel Developer Forum

SATA-IO highlighted SATA 6Gb/s technology and the new certified logo program at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco on August 19-21. Marketing Work Group members manned the SATA-IO booth, speaking with the engineers attending the show to promote the organization’s ongoing contributions to the industry. 

In addition, STMicroelectronics demonstrated its MIPHY (Multi Interface Physical Layer) interface for the new SATA 6Gb/s technology fabricated in 65nm CMOS technology. ST’s 6Gb/s SATA PHY is an IP (Intellectual Property) block designed to be integrated with other functions into low power System-on-Chip (SoC) devices supporting 1.5 and 3Gb/s as well as 6Gb/s SATA HDDs for mobile and desktop computing applications. The demonstration successfully utilized a longer 5-meter cable with no performance degradation.

During IDF, SATA-IO spokespersons met with more than a dozen industry editors and analysts to update them on the latest technology developments. This resulted in positive media coverage in EE Times, The Inquirer and several other trade publications.

To help drive traffic to the booth, SATA-IO held a raffle each day of the show with prizes donated by member companies. These prizes included a Toshiba laptop and four external hard drives equipped with SATA 3Gb/s technology. Synopsys contributed a Nintendo Wii. Thanks to everyone who supported SATA-IO at IDF!

Please submit any future article ideas and topics to Conrad Maxwell, SATA-IO Marketing Chair, Silicon Image.

SATA-IO Administration