Talk:Serial ATA

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Serial Advanced Technology Attachment or Serial AT Attachment[edit]

I'm new here to Wikipedia and I don't know how to do everything, I came across this Serial ATA page and I edited the AT Attachment to Advanced Technology Attachment and it was rejected by a user who said that the edit page clearly said that we couldn't make this change.

But why is it so? AT is capitalized for a reason and doesn't stand for nothing. And I found both Intel[1] and the SATA-IO[2] (which is the organization on top of the SATA standard) calling it that way. So why are you (whoever placed that comment on the edit page) eager to say that this is wrong and AT Attachment is correct?!

Yisroel Tech (talk) 22:00, 11 March 2016 (UTC)

No one doubts that some people make mistakes about this... even in blurbs posted at SATA-IO. Have you read the actual specs? That is, the documents that officially define the term? The official term has never been "Advanced Technology Attachment", going all the way back to ATA-1. (You can find links to that spec in the Parallel ATA article.)
We do appreciate your eagerness to help. Just keep in mind that sometimes things that "everyone knows" do turn out to be wrong. Jeh (talk) 22:22, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
FWIW, my recollection is that the ANSI group standardizing what was then WD's trademarked "IDE" interface deliberatety named it "AT Attachment" with no acroynm for the AT to avoid potential conflict with any IBM "Advanced Technology" trademark. The standards groups were pretty rigorous in adhering to this definition. SATA I/O seems somewhat less rigorous.
My suggestion to Yisroel Tech is that when you see a prohibition such as this in an article you should research beyond just a few hits that appear to contradict it. OTOH, WP:BRD Tom94022 (talk) 23:54, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
And when you see an "obvious error" that apparently has been in the page for a long time, research extra hard before assuming you're the first one to have noticed this "mistake". :) Note also that there's a recent discussion here on this very point, just three sections up. Jeh (talk) 00:08, 12 March 2016 (UTC)
As far as I know, the AT in ATA came from the AT in IBM/s PC/AT (even though it didn't use ATA drives), and that the AT in the PC/AT came from Advanced Technology. However, even if that is true, that doesn't mean that SATA stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, just as IBM doesn't stand for International Business Machines anymore. An acronym can be borrowed without borrowing its original meaning. Gah4 (talk) 08:17, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
How about a lettered footnote to explain why the AT doesn't stand for anything. Like this:
Serial ATA (SATA, abbreviated from Serial AT[a] Attachment) is a computer bus interface...
--RoyGoldsmith (talk) 11:18, 8 April 2017 (UTC)
Why bother? The comment in the HTML should be sufficient. This goes back to PATA and is already coverrred there. Tom94022 (talk) 15:54, 8 April 2017 (UTC)
I have no objection to the efn, but I doubt it will help. I don't think flaming letters in the sky would help. Jeh (talk) 16:03, 8 April 2017 (UTC)
@Tom94022: I agree that the second paragraph covers much of the same material as my footnote. However, "The comment in the HTML should be sufficient only if the reader is editing the HTML." 95%+ of Wikipedia users only read the articles; they have no idea what the "Edit this Page" does. And 50% of them don't read past the first paragraph. My footnote alerts that 50% that there is more to say. --RoyGoldsmith (talk) 14:37, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Actually IMO there is nothing more to say to the 50% - there are a lot of things AT doesn't mean in this context so why highlight this one incorrect meaning. It's ancient history which just clutters the article. The semi-informed reader who wants to change the article will encounter the comment and hopefully become informed. 16:08, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
This isn't one incorrect meaning among many of equal stature; it's a fairly obvious misinterpretation and a very common one. And a footnote adds very very little clutter to the body copy. I encourage @RoyGoldsmith: to add it. (I make no promises to not edit it...) If nothing else the addition will show the vehemence with which the expansion to "Advanced Technology" is resisted. :) Jeh (talk) 18:08, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Also, the standard was originally conceived of by non-IBM developers as the "PC/AT Attachment" because its primary feature was a a direct connection to the 16-bit ISA bus introduced with the IBM PC/AT. But legally it's officially the "AT Attachment" to avoid conflicts with IBM'S PC/AT. I have put a numbered citation inside the lettered footnote that explains all this. --RoyGoldsmith (talk) 15:55, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

You might look at my recent edit to PATA even more recent edit on this subject before u edit this article. As near as I can tell there are no reliable sources for avoiding trademark problems with IBM as a part of the naming choice so it really shouldn't be here or in PATA. Also it is likely the interface was first called IDE and that the first proposal submitted to ANSI was apparently not named "PC/AT Attachment." There is likely something in the X3T9.2 CAM minutes of the late 80s or early 90s that would be a reliable source but I haven't found anything yet. I really think this is a waste of space here, but if anyone goes ahead I won't revert but I do reserve the right to correct. Tom94022 (talk) 21:42, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
@Tom94022 and Jeh and anyone else. I'm not saying that "AT" ever officially meant "Advanced Technology". I'm just saying that informally the developers of the spec thought of the gadget they were standardizing as the PC/AT Attachment. Then, when it got close to submitting the specification for real, someone thought that IBM might object to the use of their trademarked term. But everybody inside the group thought of it as "ATA". So they said on the spec that AT didn't mean anything.
As far as "reliable sources" are concerned, reliable for Wikipedia does not mean "written in some specification". I believe the following sentence from PC Guide (a third-party, published source with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy -WP:IRS) is reliable for this, informal meaning:
The official name for the interface, "AT Attachment", reflects this, as the IBM PC/AT was the first PC to use the now-standard 16-bit ISA bus.
And so far as being a waste of space, I'm sure Wikipedia has sufficient disk capacity and it's down in a footnote where no one has to see it if they don't want to.
What I am saying is that the term "PC/AT" or "Advanced Technology Attachment" was used informally by the developers before they submitted the spec. If you can express that in a better footnote, be my guest. --RoyGoldsmith (talk) 16:14, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
There is no evidence to support any such usage by the developers, informal or otherwise - a site search of X3t10.org turns up only a very few instances of "advanced technology" and only in this century. I have a pretty complete set of the minutes of the CAM committee (back to 1989) under which the standard was developed and again, no "advanced technology." What I don't have are the minutes of the "ATA Working Group" which was a subset of the CAM group. As near as I can tell from talking to the participants it was very early on decided that AT was not an acroynym for anything. Which leads to the simple footnote that, "the AT in SATA is not an acroynym" which if this is acceptable to @RoyGoldsmith: i will reluctantly add to the article. Tom94022 (talk) 16:39, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

Notes

  1. ^ The ANSI group that was developing the specifications[3] deliberately used the term "AT" without ascribing any acronym to avoid potential conflict with IBM's "Advanced Technology" trademark.

References

  1. ^ "Serial ATA (SATA)". 
  2. ^ "The Case for SATA Storage in Tablets" (PDF). www.sata-io.org. 
  3. ^ Charles M. Kozierok. "Overview and History of the IDE/ATA Interface". PCGuide. Retrieved 2017-04-17. 

SAS vs. SATA[edit]

As I understand it, all SATA disk will work with SAS controllers, but not vice versa. According to the articles, SATA came out in 2003, SAS in 2004. How did the 2003 SATA disks know how to work with 2004 SAS controllers? Gah4 (talk) 08:29, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

The SAS controller needs to support SATA Tunneling Protocol (not all do). The SATA disks don't know what they're connected to. --Zac67 (talk) 11:45, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Another point is that that compatibility only exists with SATA 2.0 and later disks. Jeh (talk) 15:09, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, good point; I've added this to the comparison section (there should be a better place for this...). --Zac67 (talk) 19:12, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

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