The Serial ATA (SATA) interface has been with us for some time now and none the more so than in the motherboard and hard disk industries. When the word SATA is mentioned, the first thing to pop into the minds of most people would most probably be a hard disk drive. This isn't surprising at all, given the fact that hard disk drives are the most common and closely associated peripheral of this interface. The most advantageous parameter of the SATA over the older parallel interface is an increased bandwidth. In its current form, the parallel interface (PATA) maxes out at 133MB/s, while SATA sits at a higher throughput of 150MB/s.
Supplying a higher bandwidth isn't all the SATA boasts. Other equally important benefits introduced by SATA include better airflow and cable management thanks to the data cable's slim profile, lower voltage requirements (when using SATA power connectors) and jumperless design. But if you think these benefits are only applicable to just hard disk drives, think again. An important consideration thrown into the design specifications of SATA is for the interface to maintain function support for ATA and ATAPI (IDE and EIDE). Simply put, a SATA interface can be incorporated into the design of tape drives, Zip drives, optical drives and other high capacity removable devices as well. A world's first example of this is from MSI and this comes in the form of a combo drive, the XA52P.