What Are Four ATA Standards for Hard Drive Interface

Four organizations are responsible for developing and implementing ATA standards: The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Information Technology Industry Counsil (ITIC), the National Information Technology Committee (NCITS), and the T13 Technical Committee (T13). T13 is responsible for developing the ATA hard drive interface standards. As new ATA prototypes emerge, they are sent to NCITS and ANSI for approval. From there, companies begin to use the new technology described in the standard, while ANSI and NCITS analyze the new protocol. It can take these organizations from several months to a few years to complete the formal review and approval process. ATA ( ATA- 1)
ATA or ATA-1 is the abbreviation for the first standard that the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved in the early 1990s. The formal name of this protocol is “ANSI standard X3.221-1994”. It was approved as the first standard in 1994
This standard has two hard drives – . One “master” (sends digital instructions) and one “slave” (receives digital instructions). It also supports Programmed input/output or PIO modes 0, 1 and 2, which are responsible for sending and receiving data to and from your computer’s memory. Five PIO modes are identified in the ATA-1 protocol, ranging from 0 to 4, where 0 is the slowest and 4 is the fastest.
The supported DMA (Direct Memory Access) modes include 0, 1, and 2, as well as DMA 0 mode for multiword. DMA channels transmit information directly to and from computer memory and hard drive without intervention by central processing unit. A DMA mode of 0 results in the lowest data transfer rate, while a rate of 2 is the fastest.
ATA -2
As the need for faster information processing emerged in the computer world, so did the need for a new standard hard drive capable of meeting these increased demands. The result was the standard ATA-2, which boasted both faster PIO and DMA modes.
Two additions were made to the PIO modes (3 and 4), which were an improvement over the PIO modes 0, 1 and 2 available in the ATA-2 protocol. An updated DMA mode, called “multiword”, includes modes 1 and 2 . Before multiword, a request for each word was needed while transferring digital information. Multiword enhanced this, allowing for a quick succession of consecutive transfers of digital information.
ATA -3
ATA-3 (also known as ANSI standard X3.298-1997 or AT Attachment 3 Interface) was similar to ATA-2, but included some minor updates. ATA-3 is more reliable as a result of an upgrade in the type of cabling used. It also utilizes SMART (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) drive technology to increase the reliability of interfaced hard drives, preserving data more effectively and reducing the risk of data loss. A security feature that enabled password protection was added as well. No improvements have been made to speed up data processing such as those found in the
ATA- 2 standard. ATA/ATAPI-4
The ATA/ATAPI-4 (ATA Packet interface- 4) merged the ATA commands developed in previous ATA standards with ATAPI (ATA Packet interface). The published ANSI standard name for ATA/ATAPI-4 was NCITS 317-1998. This standard boasted a significant number of updates and changes to previous protocols. Ultra DMA modes were introduced, numbered 0, 1, and 2 respectively. One Ultra DMA mode of 0 transfers 16.7 megabytes (MB) per second, while one transfers 25 MB per second, and two transfers 33.3 MB per second. Also, a new cable has been introduced to ensure that data doesn’t get lost because of the improved transfer speeds of Ultra DMA modes. This cable was known as a “high performance IDE cable”, which was an improvement over the standard IDE cable with a value of 80 conductors. Another feature added to ensure data integrity was Cyclic Redundancy Inspection or CRC. This process performs a precalculation of data to be transmitted and again when the data is received. If the two values ​​do not match, it indicates that the transferred data has been corrupted and the data packet is sent again.

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