SATA-IO Increases Interoperability Features with Revision 3.5 Specification

Specification release continues 20 year history of increased innovation and broader compatibility

BEAVERTON, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO), the storage industry consortium dedicated to sustaining the quality, integrity and dissemination of the Serial ATA (SATA™) technology, today announced the publication of the SATA Revision 3.5 Specification. Specification 3.5 introduces features that enable increased performance benefits and promote greater integration of SATA devices and products with other industry I/O standards.

As storage technologies continue to advance, the industry continues to demand improvements in performance, reliability and compatibility. To ensure that members and the industry continue to have a reliable storage solution, the SATA-IO has added new features to the ubiquitous specification that offer improvements in a number of areas including:

  • Device Transmit Emphasis for Gen 3 PHY: aligns SATA with other characteristics of other I/O measurement solutions to help SATA-IO members with testing and integration.
  • Defined Ordered NCQ Commands: allows the host to specify the processing relationships among queued commands and sets the order in which commands are processed in the queue.
  • Command Duration Limit Features: reduces latency by allowing the host to define quality of service categories, giving the host more granularity in controlling command properties. The feature helps align SATA with the “Fast Fail” requirements established by the Open Compute Project (OCP) and specified in the INCITS T13 Technical Committee standard.

In addition, Specification 3.5 incorporates all of the latest T13 standard updates to give implementors the latest requirements for drives and other products and includes miscellaneous corrections and clarifications from the previous SATA 3.4 specification.

“SATA-IO has a long tradition of participating in the industry and supporting new innovative technology. These new features underscore the versatility of the SATA standard,” said Jim Hatfield, SATA-IO president. “SATA remains one of the most stable, yet adaptable, interfaces in the industry. We are pleased to be able to enhance SATA’s compatibility benefits for our members and the industry by adding features which allow SATA and other I/O standards to coexist in a variety of environments.”

The specification is available to SATA-IO members for free, while non-members can purchase the specification by visiting

Celebrating SATA’s 20th Anniversary

In addition to releasing the updated specification, the SATA-IO is also marking the 20th anniversary of the SATA specification. The SATA specification was first released in February of 2000 through the efforts of APT Technologies, Dell, Intel, Maxtor, and Seagate. Since that time, the SATA-IO has released over nine revisions to the specification and has supported the industry’s data transport needs in a wide range of use cases. Currently, SATA continues to see to see exciting opportunities in the enterprise and cloud arena.

“The SATA storage device specification enabled new applications for HDDs and SSDs such as gaming consoles, DVRs and a simplified and higher performance interface for computer, server and data center applications. SATA remains the workhouse storage specification for low cost high capacity storage applications,” said Tom Coughlin, president of Coughlin Associates, Inc. and industry analyst.

The SATA-IO is marking the anniversary of the first SATA specification release with an online anthology highlighting the technological innovations fostered by SATA over the past two decades. The anthology will also include stories and anecdotes from members who have worked with and contributed to the specification over the years.

The anthology is open for SATA-IO members to share their thoughts and reflections on the benefits SATA has contributed to the industry for the past twenty years. Visit for more information and to learn more about SATA’s impact and continued contributions to the industry.


Formed in September 2004, the SATA-IO is the International Organization that owns and manages Serial ATA specifications as open industry standards. The organization defines and implements the Serial ATA storage specification as the industry’s storage needs evolve. It is dedicated to sustaining the quality, integrity and dissemination of the SATA technology by maintaining the specifications, promoting and marketing the benefits of the technology and creating future interface features and specifications that carry storage into the next decade. Additional information about the organization, its participating companies and membership is available at


Matt Baxter

Nereus for SATA-IO


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