SATA 3.0 Released, Solid-State Drives Rejoice

From PC World: We've seen glimmers on the horizon for some time now, but the Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) has finally made official the third iteration of the serial ATA specification. SATA Revision 3.0 doubles the existing SATA 3Gb/s bandwidth to 6Gb/s, or roughly 600 MB/s, using a connector that's fully backwards-compatible with the older specification. Device manufacturers (especially motherboards) won't have to reinvent the wheel connection-wise, which should help the new specification reach full market acceptance in a short time frame.

Other features that come with the new specification include:

* A new Native Command Queuing (NCQ) streaming command to enable isochronous data transfers for bandwidth-hungry environments
* An NCQ Management feature that optimizes performance by enabling host processing and management of outstanding NCQ commands
* Improved power management capabilities
* A small Low Insertion Force (LIF) connector for more compact 1.8-inch storage devices
* A connector designed to accommodate 7mm optical disk drives for thinner and lighter notebooks

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