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The Serial ATA specification grew out of the need to support growing bandwidth requirements current Parallel ATA (known as ATA 100)will be unable to maintain in future years. Peak transfer rates of 150MB, or 1.5gigabits per second are achieved over a 7pin interface. Serial ATA architecture is forward looking in that it was created with a 10-year road map in mind. The superset of capabilities beyond those of Parallel ATA will enable additional usage models and over time allow Serial ATA to migrate into lower-cost PCs,notebooks,Set-tops, low-end workstations, Servers,and low-cost raid storage units.
The new form factor establishes a common interface for both 3.5" and 2.5"drives. In addition to the small 7pin signal segment,15pin power segment is defined in the interface allowing use of 12, 5, and 3.3 volts.
This combined signal and power interface, with built in hot-plug capability, offers great advantage for blind mate applications such as notebook media bays or raid storage units.