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January 5, 2005

Hitachi speeds in SATA 2

Hitachi Ltd will this quarter ship what it claims will be the first SATA 2 disk drives that both double the throughput of previous versions of the low cost drives, and offer 500GB capacity.

By CBR Staff Writer

Over the last eighteen months array and drive makers have hyped their move from parallel to the SATA serial version of ATA. But the SATA drives shipping to date have not offered huge advantages to customers, and have featured a throughput only around 10% higher than parallel ATA drives.

SATA 2 however doubles throughput to 3Gbps, delivering a very tangible benefit and bringing ATA drives into the same performance ballpark as SCSI or Fibre Channel drives.

Some SATA 2 features have already appeared in other drives, but the Hitachi drives due to ship this quarter will the first to offer every feature in the SATA 2 specification – according to Hitachi’s disk-making subsidiary Hitachi Global Storage Technologies.

Alongside the boosted throughput, SATA 2 adds features such as support for staggered spin-up of disks in large arrays so simplifying power supply, and native command queuing which also enhances performance.

Hitachi’s will ship three SATA 2 drives, all running at 7,200rpm, and with a capacity of 500GB, 250GB and 80GB. Although Hewlett-Packard Co last year began selling arrays featuring 500GB drives made by Seagate, those drives sported a Fibre Channel and not a SATA interface.

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