SATA Continues To Dominate

It’s rare now to find PATA (parallel ATA) anywhere except in some applications using CompactFlash (CFlash) storage – and, even there, there’s a new CFlash standard that uses SATA. Beyond those small and niche survivals, SATA remains the preferred data transfer bus in consumer computers, whether desktop or laptop. “Consumer” is stressed here because there are other buses; nevertheless, even a top end laptop intended for heavy commercial use will still ship today with a standard SATA bus (although there is alsoM1015-back likely to be provision for M.2 storage attachment which the user can use or not use).

Returning for a moment to the history of computing theme that appears elsewhere on this website, the experiences of early adopters of microcomputing created a hunger for compatibility. Before IBM introduced the PC, the microcomputing world was chaotic. Every manufacturer had their own operating system and each one made system calls to peripheral units in their own way. It followed that a printer or a program that worked perfectly well on one microcomputer would refuse to work on another. There were suites of programs that could only work on one make of computer – trying to transfer them to another make would usually end in days of struggle and grief.

IBM brought order to this scene of mayhem by joining with Microsoft to launch DOS (Disk Operating System). This forced manufacturers to ensure that all system calls were made in the same way and made software companies do the same. Now, at last, software and hardware could be transferred from one make of microcomputer to another with the expectation that it would continue to work.

Having at last achieved compatibility, users were simply not willing to give it up. That is why SATA has lasted so long. Standards set by the Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) have been followed. SATA reigns.