Parallel ATA (IDE) PATA Drives

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Parallel ATA (PATA) is what is known as an IDE standard for connecting storage devices such as hard drives and optical drives to a motherboard. Before being called PATA, they were simple called ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment). The first version of what is now called the ATA interface was developed by the Western Digital Corporation under the name Integrated Drive Electronics, or IDE. PATA drives have been largely replaced by the more recent SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment). However, there is still a great demand for PATA drives for older machines.

Parallel ATA PATA cables have a maximum allowable length of 18 inches (457 mm). Because of this limit, the technology normally appears as an internal computer storage interface. For many years the ATA interface has provided the most common and the least expensive solution for these types of applications.

PATA SSD devices are easy to spot by the rather large 44-pin port that connects to a parallel ATA cable. The cables are flat and wide with 44 parallel wires, hence the term used, parallel. Data is split among the lanes and travels in parallel between the PATA controller and the connected device in a master/slave configuration. One side of a PATA SSD cable features a red line to indicate the layout for pin one which is very useful when connecting the cable to a compatible device.

PATA Solid State Drives

The main role of a PATA solid state drive is to replace hard drives in notebooks, embedded products and legacy servers which do not require the higher performance ceiling offered by SATA drives. PATA SSDs are designed to replace traditional 2.5-inch HDDs not only to promote lower power consumption but also to increase read-write data performance.

What about the future of the PATA SSD market?

You may have thought that the demand for PATA SSDs would disappear – because of the high performance offered by SATA SSDs. But you would be wrong.

One advantage of the lower r/w performance of PATA SSDs (compared to SATA) is that designers can use slower or older SSD controllers – because the concerns of endurance are greatly reduced by a factor of 2x to 6x compared to faster SSDs. Because the controller can be a significant part of the overall SSD cost in lower capacity products – this ultimately translates into a huge competitive advantage.

amp Inc. is still manufacturing PATA SSDs, contact us today for more information.