AMD and Seagate demo 6Gbps Serial ATA

Today AMD and Seagate are teaming up to demonstrate the next-generation Serial ATA specification. Dubbed SATA 6Gbps, the new spec will offer twice the disk-to-host bandwidth of the existing 3Gbps Serial ATA standard. Although the fastest Serial ATA hard drives on the market have a rough time maintaining transfer rates higher than about 110MB/s, they can typically push smaller burst transfers from their caches at over 250MB/s. Those caches are growing, with the latest desktop models packing 32MB memory chips. And let's not forget solid-state drives like Intel's X25-E Extreme, which has no problem sustaining over 200MB/s for reads and writes.

Despite its fatter pipe, SATA 6Gbps will use the same connectors as the existing Serial ATA standard. The spec includes new goodness beyond a higher throughput peak, too, but AMD and Seagate are only talking data rates for now.

While today's technology demonstration is not a product launch, we can tell you that the demo drive is based on Seagate's current Barracuda 7200.12. It's running on a next-gen AMD chipset with a brand new storage controller of the company's own design. That setup, according to Seagate, has hit a peak data rate of 589.09MB/s. There's no word yet on when the SB750's much-needed successor will arrive, but Seagate expects to announce products compatible with SATA 6Gbps before the year is out.

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