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AKA Short in the sense of Advanced Technology Attachment, ATA was approved on May 12, 1994 as an interface for connecting CD-ROM drives, hard drives, and various other drives. The initial ATA interface is currently known as PATA which stands of Parallel AT Attachment following it was introduced by SATA. Nowadays, nearly all home computers are using this ATA interface, which includes Apple machines, all of which run SATA.

It is important to note that the ATA protocol is backward-compatible that means that new ATA drives (excluding SATA) can be utilized alongside earlier ATA interfaces. Furthermore any new feature that is introduced will be included in future releases. For instance, ATA-4 has support for PIO modes 0 2, 3 as well as 4, even though they were initially added within ATA-1 as well as ATA-2.

Below is a list of the capabilities of each ATA standard that will help you get more understanding of the background behind this interface, as well as the standards’ ability.

  • ATA (ATA-1), along with IDE.
  • AT-2, EIDE, Fast ATA Fast Ultra ATA, IDE, and ATA-2.
  • ATA-3 as well EIDE.
  • AATA-4, AATAPI-4 and ATA/ATAPI-4.
  • ATA-5 and the ATA/ATAPI-5.
  • ATA-6 and the ATA/ATAPI-6.
  • ATA design.
  • Information on related topics.

ATA, ATA-1, and IDE

The first version was created in the late 1990s by Control Data Corporation, Western Digital and Compaq The ATA included an 8-bit or 16-bit interface. It also had speeds of transfer as high as 8.3 MBps and PIO modes 0, 1 and 2 were supported. Nowadays, ATA and ATA-1, are considered to be obsolete.

ATA-2 EIDE, Fast ATA, Fast IDE, and Ultra ATA

The ATA-2 standard, which is more popularly referred to as EIDE, more commonly referred to as and also referred to in other ways as Fast ATA or Fast IDE is a standard that was accepted through ANSI back in the year 1996 with document number X3.279-1996. The new ATA-2 version introduces PIO modes that range from 3 to 4, with transfer rates that can reach 16.6 milliseconds per second, DMA options 1 and 2, LBA support, and can be used with drives of up to 8.4 GB. In the present, ATA-2 is also considered obsolete.

ATA-3 and EIDE

The ATA-3 standard was accepted from ANSI during 1997 under document number X3.298-1997. ATA-3 added security enhancements as well as the brand new S.M.A.R.T feature.

The ATA-4, the ATAPI-4, and the ATA/ATAPI-4

The ATA-4 standard was formally accepted by ANSI on the 19th of August 1998 under the NCITS document 317-1998. The standard incorporates the ATAPI packet commands as well as UDMA/33 which is also called ultra-DMA/33 or ultra-ATA/33 which can support data transfer speeds of up to 33 MBps.

ATA-5 and the ATA/ATAPI-5

The ATA-5 standard was formally that was approved by ANSI on the 13th of December 2000 in the document NCITS 340-2000. The ATA-5 standard adds support for Ultra-DMA/66 which can handle data transfer rates up to 66 MBps . It also is capable of detecting between 40 and 80-wire cables.

ATA-6 and the ATA/ATAPI-6

The ATA-6 standard was accepted by ANSI on the 16th of May 2001 under the document NCITS 347-2001. The ATA-6 standard has also supports Ultra-DMA/100 and can transfer at a rate of upto 100 MBps.

ATA layout

These ATA interfaces that are on the 3.5-inch disk drive feature an a 40-pin connector, and can accommodate two drives at a time on the interface. Here is a brief description of each pin that are connected to the 40-pin ATA interface.

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