Serial ATA (Advance Technology Attachment) (SATA) is a computer bus interface that connects host bus adapters to mass storage devices such as hard disk drives and optical drives. Serial ATA replaces the older AT Attachment standard (ATA later referred to as Parallel ATA or PATA), offering several advantages over the older interface: reduced cable size and cost (seven conductors instead of 40), native hot swapping, faster data transfer through higher signalling rates, and more efficient transfer through an (optional) I/O queuing protocol.
SATA host adapters and devices communicate via a high-speed serial cable over two pairs of conductors. In contrast, parallel ATA (the redesignation for the legacy ATA specifications) used a 16-bit wide data bus with many additional support and control signals, all operating at much lower frequency. To ensure backward compatibility with legacy ATA software and applications, SATA uses the same basic ATA and ATAPI command-set as legacy ATA devices.
SATA has replaced parallel ATA in consumer desktop and laptop computers, and has largely replaced PATA in new embedded applications. SATA's market share in the desktop PC market was 99% in 2008. PATA remains widely used in industrial and embedded applications that use CompactFlash storage, even though the new CFast standard is based on SATA. SAS
Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) is a point-to-point serial protocol that moves data to and from computer storage devices such as hard drives and tape drives. SAS replaces the older Parallel SCSI (Small Computer System Interface, pronounced "scuzzy"), bus technology that first appeared in the mid-1980s. SAS, like its predecessor, uses the standard SCSI command set. SAS offers backward compatibility with second-generation SATA drives. SATA 3 Gbit/s drives may be connected to SAS backplanes, but SAS drives cannot connect to SATA backplanes.
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