The Tech Report Writes:
"One bit of news that came out of IDF last week was word from the SATA-IO-the standards body that governs the Serial ATA specification-that it has completed work on a physical layer tweak to allow 6Gbps transfer rates, double that of current SATA devices. The organization decided to go ahead with the release of the 6Gbps physical spec now, while work continues on the full SATA 3.0 spec, which is due for completion before the end of the year. To better understand the upcoming changes to Serial ATA, we spoke with Amber Huffman, Principal Engineer in the Storage Technologies Group at Intel. Huffman is responsible for many storage technology initiatives at Intel, including both SATA and AHCI.
Huffman told us SATA 6Gbps devices and hosts should be backward compatible with devices and hosts based on older SATA revisions, as should current SATA cables. However, the SATA-IO "recommends utilizing quality components to ensure data integrity and robust operation at the fast 6Gbps transfer rate," and Huffman said there may be some tweaks to SATA connectors for 6Gbps. Although achieving 6Gbps transfer rates may require slightly more power use during transfers, Hoffman expected that effect to be offset by quicker completion of transfers, placing SATA 6Gbps on roughly equal footing with SATA 3Gbps in terms of power consumption."