Parallel ATA (PATA), originally AT Attachment, is an interface standard for the connection of storage devices such as hard disks, floppy drives, and optical disc drives in computers
The Parallel ATA standard is the result of a long history of incremental technical development, which began with the original AT Attachment interface, developed for use in early PC AT equipment. The ATA interface itself evolved in several stages from Western Digital's original Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) interface. As a result, many near-synonyms for ATA/ATAPI and its previous incarnations are still in common informal use. After the introduction of Serial ATA in 2003, the original ATA was renamed Parallel ATA, PATA for short.
Parallel ATA cables have a maximum allowable length of only 18 in (457 mm). Because of this limit, the technology normally appears as an internal computer storage interface. For many years ATA provided the most common and the least expensive interface for this application. It has largely been replaced by Serial ATA (SATA) in newer systems.
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