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What is SATA?

General, Industry, software

Serial AT Attachment is an interface that communicates data between components inside a computer in serial mode. What does this exactly mean? Basically, an AT attachment is a computer bus interface that is placed into host bus adapters with the intention to mass storage devices such as hard drives, optical drives, and SSD’s. The Serial AT Attachment more commonly known as SATA supersedes the more conventional AT attachment the Parallel AT Attachment. This attachment sees the benefit of being faster when using the clock speed, but unfortunately is linked with an obscene amount of noise linked to the up to 80 wire system.

What is Serial Mode?

Serial mode is the process of transmitting data one bit at a time. While it may sound like Parallel mode is a better option because it’s 8 times the transmission speed, the clock rate comes into play a tremendous amount. When parallel transmission transfer rates are increased, the clock rate subsequently increases as well. As a result, this causes much more electromagnetic interference than anyone would naturally want.  The small amount of transmission at just one bit of time from SATA allows it to use higher clock rates which in turn helps achieve a high clock rate.


There are three layers of protocol in SATA including physical, link, and support. The physical layer is anything along the lines of the electrical and physical characteristics of SATA. This includes the physical coding subsystem which entails bit-level encoding, device detection on the wire, and link initialization. The link layers comes into play after the physical layer has established a link and is responsible for the transmission and reception of Frame Information structures over the SATA links. Lastly, the transport layer is held accountable for acting on the frames and transmitting as well as receiving them in a proper sequence.

SATA Express motherboard connection


SATA’s transfer rate is at a standard of 150 megabytes per second where it uses 8B to 10B coding. What this exactly means is that every group of 8 bits is then coded into a 10 bit number. The thinner serial cables can further enable more air flow opposed to the previous design with bulkier cables that restricted that same airflow. Serial mode uses only 7 pins opposed to up to 40 pins in parallel mode. Another part of SATA that highlights its optimal performance is its ability to hot swap. Hot swapping is the term used to describe the action of replacing computer systems without shutting down the system itself. While hot plugging can be incredibly useful, the addition of an advance host controller face interface was a huge upgrade for SATA as well. What this is an interface that allows the use of features such as hot plugging and native commanding queuing.

Free Data Recovery

The horrendous yet all too common feeling of losing days, months, or even years of vital data is a feeling that anyone with experience in the tech field has experienced. With any accident that occurs in SATA comes data recovery. Downloading EaseUS Data Recovery software provides fast and safe recovery for up to 2GB of corrupted data. From the most common file systems such as FAT 16/32, NTFS, and EXT2/Ext3 on your SATA disk, you are supported.


SATA far outweighs the ability of its previous make, PATA. The serial mode processing has truly shown that is the best option for anyone looking at purchasing an interface. The one bit processing at a time truly creates the efficient airflows and speed to make it the clear cut choice. There are multiple features that validate SATA as the most prominent computer bus interface

Daniel Oswald

Howdy! Dan here. I love to laugh, sing in the shower, and dance like no one is watching. Blog writer extraordinaire and sushi fanatic.

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