Serial ATA International Organization Announces Power Over eSATA

Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO), the consortium dedicated to sustaining the quality, integrity and dissemination of SATA technology, announced its Power Over eSATA initiative. SATA-IO has begun work on a new specification that will provide power to external SATA (eSATA) devices without the need for a separate power connection. Led by the organization’s Cable and Connector group, the specification is targeted for completion in the second half of 2008.

Today, eSATA devices require an external power adapter to supply the necessary voltage for operation. The new SATA-IO specification will eliminate this requirement by providing power for a single drive directly from the host system using the Power Over eSATA cable. Key benefits will be to maintain compatibility with the existing eSATA connector form factor and retain high performance at the current maximum interface transfer rate of 3Gb/s (gigabits per second). External SATA offers the only 3Gb/s bus optimized for storage performance. Data from IDC shows that eSATA can transfer a two-hour high-definition movie in less than one minute.(a)

“Its fast transfer rate and efficient protocol makes eSATA the highest performing external mainstream storage connection,” said Knut Grimsrud, SATA-IO president and Intel Fellow. “Enhancing eSATA with power delivery will provide a new level of convenience to the designer and the end user. By eliminating the need for a separate power connection, customers can more easily expand their storage, making Serial ATA an even more attractive solution for mainstream storage applications.”

SATA-IO is committed to preserving the same cost-conscious design for eSATA as mainstream SATA technology. That’s why the organization is architecting solutions to ensure that the forthcoming Power Over eSATA specification eliminates the requirement for a separate power source, while maintaining compatibility with the existing eSATA connector form factor and its 3Gb/s speed.

Power Over eSATA solutions are expected to be available on the market as soon as the second half of 2008, creating new business opportunities by using either a SATA Hard Disk Drive or a SATA Optical Drive in a portable external enclosure. This gives consumers the option of carrying their digital content portably in addition to using these external devices for data back-up purposes.

Formed in September 2004, the SATA-IO is the International Organization that owns and manages Serial ATA specifications as open industry standards. The organization defines and implements Serial ATA storage specifications as the industry’s storage needs evolve. It is dedicated to sustaining the quality, integrity and dissemination of the SATA technology by maintaining the specifications, promoting and marketing the benefits of the technology and creating future interface features and specifications that carry storage into the next decade.

(a)Information based on independent research by IDC from August 2007