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Seagate and AMD demo the SATA 6Gb/sec interface for the first time ever

In the world of computing, faster speeds are constantly sought. When a manufacturer introduces a new product or platform, odds are they are already hard at work on the faster replacement to the new product.

Seagate and AMD have announced a new and faster Serial ATA (SATA) high-speed data transfer protocol. The demonstration shows the SATA 6Gb/second interface in use for the first time. Today's SATA drives inside most computers operate at either 3Gb/sec or 1.5Gb/sec depending on how old the drives are. The new 6Gb/sec interface offers backwards compatibility with SATA 1.5 and 3.0 interfaces.

The new specification also uses the same cables and interconnects as SATA 1.5Gb/sec and 3.0Gb/sec interfaces for compatibility. The new interface offers roughly twice the performance of today's highest performance SATA standard, enhances power efficiency, and improves Native Command Queuing (NCQ). NCQ is a feature in the SATA specification that increases the overall system performance and data transfer speeds.

Seagate VP Joan Motsinger said in a statement, "The increasing reliance of consumers and businesses worldwide on digital information is giving rise to gaming, digital video and audio, streaming video, graphics and other applications that require even more bandwidth, driving demand for PC interfaces that can carry even more digital content. The SATA 6Gb/second storage interface will meet this demand for higher-bandwidth PCs. Seagate has a long history of being first to market with new technologies such as Serial ATA, perpendicular recording and self-encrypting drives, and is pleased to be teaming with AMD to stage the world's first public demonstration of SATA 6Gb/second storage."

The demo used a pair of Seagate SATA drives for speed comparisons. The first drive used was a currently shipping SATA 3Gb/sec 7200.12 drive and the other drive was a prototype Barracuda 6Gb/sec drive. The demo PC used an AMD CPU with a prototype AMD SATA 6Gb/sec chipset.

According to the Serial ATA website, the new 6Gb/sec specification will be available in the first half of 2009. That should mean that hardware to support the new specification would be available at roughly the same time. To upgrade to SATA 6.0Gb/sec drives would require a motherboard with a chipset supporting the faster specification and hard drives supporting the specification.

AMD VP Leslie Sobon said in a statement, "AMD strives to deliver platform technology that our technology partners can use to create high-performance desktop and laptop PCs. The new SATA 6Gb/second technology not only incorporates the best features of previous SATA generations but also includes new enhancements. This innovation enables AMD to continue to evolve its technology platforms and to develop low-cost designs that our technology partners can use to improve their own PC and laptop products."

The new interface will offer improved speeds to both traditional hard drives and solid-state drives.

Seagate reported in January that it would be cutting 2,950 jobs under the weight of the poor global economy. Mere days before the job cut announcements were made Bill Watkins stepped down as CEO of the company and was replaced by Stephen Luczo.



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HDD??
By descendency on 3/9/2009 11:55:08 AM , Rating: 5
Why demo a slow rotational drive that barely gets close to maxing the SATA 1.5 spec instead of an SSD that near maxes SATA 3.0 spec? or better yet, an SSD that provides more than the SATA 3.0 can handle...




RE: HDD??
By phattyboombatty on 3/9/2009 12:13:36 PM , Rating: 1
I agree. It's kind of ironic that Seagate is the first to demo the new SATA interface when the purpose of the new interface is to handle the newer/faster SSD's which Seagate has resisted.


RE: HDD??
By nosfe on 3/9/2009 12:18:46 PM , Rating: 5
it's because that drive is special, it transfers pr0n from the cache at 589MB/s.
http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=58...


RE: HDD??
By TomZ on 3/9/2009 12:19:27 PM , Rating: 4
Given the strong growth of SSDs, it would be foolish for Seagate to not be working on SSDs. They have denied this, which makes sense from a strategy perspective - why tip off the competition before you have SSD products ready to sell?

Clearly 6GB SATA will be a key feature for next-gen SSDs. So it doesn't really take too much imagination to connect the dots and figure out what is going on here.


RE: HDD??
By quiksilvr on 3/9/2009 8:40:26 PM , Rating: 3
I just can't wait for the epic speeds SSDs of the future. Dontcha just wish you can fast forward a couple years?


RE: HDD??
By MrPoletski on 3/10/2009 7:16:02 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
I just can't wait for the epic speeds SSDs of the future. Dontcha just wish you can fast forward a couple years?


There comes a point in life where you clamour for the reverse...


RE: HDD??
By therealnickdanger on 3/10/2009 8:48:59 AM , Rating: 2
Why wait for the future? SATA-6G is already too slow:

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/293/10512...


RE: HDD??
By MrPoletski on 3/10/2009 11:00:04 AM , Rating: 3
nice.... but I charge less for my ass..


RE: HDD??
By Spectator on 3/9/2009 2:38:52 PM , Rating: 2
Back in the Day when Mtron owned SSD performance.

I read a review of 8 Mtron ssd in raid. and they could not even buy a controller card(fook onboard sata). capable of dealing with the through put from 8 it maxed out around 6 at best.

As it stands now. if you have the cash to be pimp. you get a plug in controller.(yaay. bow down to asus WS MB) that is why you WILL see manufacturers like ocz selling a sata card with ssd drives wrapped in a neat box around the card(think nvid 295 sizes) :P

All the idle'ness to make cash. with none of the sata chipset dont support this speed agro.


RE: HDD??
By Etsp on 3/9/2009 6:35:45 PM , Rating: 2
It is a bit ironic you mentioned that 8 SSD raid, engadget made a post today on something very similar....

http://www.engadget.com/2009/03/09/24-samsung-ssds...

24 SSD's raided together. Talk about speed, 2gBps throughput....


RE: HDD??
By MrPoletski on 3/10/2009 11:03:33 AM , Rating: 2
2GBps is almost fast enough to not notice you are using virtual memory.

I dare them to put only 128mb of ram in an XP system and run the swap file on that disk.

See how much of a performance boost going to 2GB of ram gives in some games...


RE: HDD??
By PhoetuS on 3/10/2009 8:49:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Back in the Day when Mtron owned SSD performance.

I read a review of 8 Mtron ssd in raid. and they could not even buy a controller card(fook onboard sata). capable of dealing with the through put from 8 it maxed out around 6 at best.

As it stands now. if you have the cash to be pimp. you get a plug in controller.(yaay. bow down to asus WS MB) that is why you WILL see manufacturers like ocz selling a sata card with ssd drives wrapped in a neat box around the card(think nvid 295 sizes) :P

All the idle'ness to make cash. with none of the sata chipset dont support this speed agro.



LOL at all your completely random periods...


RE: HDD??
By rburnham on 3/10/2009 11:34:57 AM , Rating: 2
I thought something looked off about that post.


RE: HDD??
By Spectator on 3/9/2009 3:01:24 PM , Rating: 1
also.

think intel qpi interface. when this 2.4+gig interface is common. Im guessing we will see ssd/ssd's linked directly to CPU yes another 2/3 MB change :(.

But we have some time yet to wait while the suckers..I mean early adopters have paid enough for old tech first. :)

Biggest cpu manufacturer in the world does not release hardware with no desktop competition without planning few years in advance. Unless that is they are stupid. Hmmm wait a minute(yes $5+ per gig of flash seems stupid compared to $1 others are charging.lol). well time will tell.


RE: HDD??
By JKflipflop98 on 3/10/2009 9:35:41 AM , Rating: 1
The most promising of these new technologies is Phase Change Memory. It's as fast as system ram, yet stores data like flash. A single large bank would service your ram and storage needs.


RE: HDD??
By Klober on 3/11/2009 4:12:59 PM , Rating: 2
IMHO the most promising new technology is racetrack memory. Once perfected it'll be faster than our fastest RAM, have the storage density of the highest capacity mechanical hard drives currently available, and be more energy efficient than any other storage medium I've heard of so far. :)


Yay
By chmilz on 3/9/2009 11:49:53 AM , Rating: 4
New faster interface, same slow hard drives.




RE: Yay
By B3an on 3/9/2009 11:57:19 AM , Rating: 2
Death to HDD's.
SSD's FTW (without the jmicron controller!).


RE: Yay
By Diesel Donkey on 3/9/2009 12:03:47 PM , Rating: 3
...or with the new JMicron controller.


RE: Yay
By judasmachine on 3/9/2009 12:03:48 PM , Rating: 2
Yes you must include the disclaimer. :)


RE: Yay
By AnnihilatorX on 3/9/2009 5:16:08 PM , Rating: 2
HDD still has its place for ever going amount of p0rn, as Seagate CEO once implied.


screw SATA
By RU482 on 3/9/2009 12:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
what ever happened to SSDs that tap directly into the PCIe bus?




RE: screw SATA
By TomZ on 3/9/2009 12:25:17 PM , Rating: 2
They exist, and I think there will be a market for them going forward:

http://www.engadget.com/2009/03/05/oczs-z-drive-pu...

But on the other hand, the benefit of using SATA is that a SATA SSD is a drop-in replacement for a HDD from both a software and hardware perspective. Especially important is that there is no additional software needed, apart from a new OS like Windows 7 that (hopefully) can tell it is a SSD and adjust its usage accordingly.

That said, I would expect that for high-performance application, PCIe will be the way to go.


RE: screw SATA
By Veerappan on 3/9/2009 2:20:22 PM , Rating: 2
RE: screw SATA
By ekv on 3/10/2009 3:30:36 AM , Rating: 2
Have you contacted their sales department to find out what the prices are? You may have thought the X25-E was expensive ... 8)


Yep
By dj LiTh on 3/9/2009 11:50:21 AM , Rating: 5
Thats one small step for man, One giant leap for pr0n.




RE: Yep
By S3anister on 3/9/2009 12:09:13 PM , Rating: 2
Damn, I wasn't able to get my 'In before pr0n' reference.


Add-in Card
By phattyboombatty on 3/9/2009 12:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
To upgrade to SATA 6.0Gb/sec drives would require a motherboard with a chipset supporting the faster specification and hard drives supporting the specification.


Wouldn't you also be able to purchase an add-in card with the necessary controller instead of buying a whole new motherboard?




RE: Add-in Card
By Screwballl on 3/9/2009 12:59:10 PM , Rating: 2
Have you seen the cost of controller cards?
Even the most basic SATA 3.0/1.5 cards are still going for the price of a cheaper motherboard. With new technology the first gen controller cards would be the cost of the entire higher end motherboards (US$200+).

bash# .sarcasm/
I smell a motherboard conspiracy to block controller chips from competing in order to sell more new motherboards which means new CPUs, new memory and so on...
bash# end .sarcasm/


RE: Add-in Card
By LordanSS on 3/9/2009 9:12:35 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I am not an expert on this, but I figure that a controller card would (generally) offer better performance than using an onboard solution found on most motherboards today.

Figure if the card does the grunt work and deal with the ops on it's own hardware, it'd be better than a motherboard solution that puts the CPU to work (although with the trend on multiple cores going, that should be mitigated a bit)... or am I mistaken?


The right point - Patents to survive...
By greylica on 3/9/2009 3:10:33 PM , Rating: 2
Seagate has near all of the major patents in the communications of hard drives, then this step is a security step to ensure their business. Even with slower hard drives, new SATA interface will ensure that seagate will not be out of storage business with the advent of SSDs.
Course, the tecnology of HDDs it´s bound to it´s limits, because physical and mecanical limits are being imposed more and more. But HDDs will have a long life still, as it´s price/GB is yet the most affordable.

And the question is ...
Two or more X25, will hog this Bus ?
:)




By Spectator on 3/9/2009 3:41:42 PM , Rating: 2
Question is really. ocz 16Gb usb flash drive = $16...

Its smaller/slower than ssd. but at $1 per gig, ignoring all the duplicate usb controllers and packaging and profit from selling just 16Gb.

How much can it really cost One if not The best silicon fabricator in the world to produce 60Gb of flash with a sata controller.

nuff said.consider/think; dont reply


power pin
By kevinkreiser on 3/9/2009 7:18:27 PM , Rating: 2
good to see the connector will work with older gen sata, but why don't we add a few more pins, off to the side, for power over sata. it would reduce power supply clutter and be really nice for esata. there has got to be a way to have power in the same wire as the data. any thoughts?




RE: power pin
By Klober on 3/11/2009 5:47:02 PM , Rating: 2
IIRC the SATA 3 specification includes power over SATA for eSATA. :)


SATA
By TomZ on 3/9/2009 12:08:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Seagate and AMD have announced a new and faster Serial ATA (SATA) high-speed data transfer protocol.
This makes it sound like Seagate and AMD themselves developed SATA 6Gb/s. That's not correct. The new specification is being developed by SATA-IO, i.e., a working group.

http://www.sata-io.org/6gbdetails.asp

Seagate and AMD are just developing a prototype, not the specification itself.




USB3
By Cookoy on 3/9/2009 12:35:23 PM , Rating: 2
just give me USB3 now!




6Gb is NOT enough!
By Roy2001 on 3/9/2009 12:39:52 PM , Rating: 2
SDD would be much faster, if the standard evolve as if to deal with same mechanic HD it is OK, but 6Gb won't last long for SSD.

However, it is understandable as it is developed by Seagate. But I guess Intel and SSD companies would created a 10Gb or faster standard soon.




6gig is still lame.
By Spectator on 3/9/2009 3:31:16 PM , Rating: 2
i7 does 28GB/sec over memory controller with ddr3 running at 200 bclk.

nvid 295 does 224GB/sec internal memory (default).

Ati 4870 X2 does 230GB/Sec internal memory (default).

Yes internal speeds "may be faster". but 28GB/sec to external memory..
When can we get close to that from sockets(pci-x)?

hopefully that will change when chipset's are not built using cheap(paid's its way already fab's)on old 125/90nm tech. as its cheaper..(wait Intel dropped 125/90nm fabs recently(good news yes?))

/Smile

But whatever. I have beer and cool Intel tech. so. whatever.




More speedy news!!! USB this time!!!
By DeepBlue1975 on 3/9/09, Rating: -1
RE: More speedy news!!! USB this time!!!
By Hyperion1400 on 3/9/2009 2:31:55 PM , Rating: 1
What the fuck is that all about?


RE: More speedy news!!! USB this time!!!
By DeepBlue1975 on 3/9/09, Rating: 0
By ApfDaMan on 3/10/2009 7:04:05 AM , Rating: 2
Epic fail.


"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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