iSATA vs sSATA

Hello Experts,

What is iSATA vs sSATA. I saw a motherboard with those two {iSATA & sSATA} but unable to understand the differences between the two. Googled but still not clear.

Thank you,
Lonelygirl_2012Asked:
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Zac HarrisSystems Administrator Commented:
I've never heard of those two types of SATA... I've only heard of SATA (it has 4 revisions, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.2) and eSATA (it has 2 revisions (eSATA and eSATAP)

Can you provide a link to the motherboard you were looking at for more information?
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DavidPresidentCommented:
There is no ANSI specification for iSATA or sSATA.  That means they are not anything official. You're looking at some mumbo-jumbo terms dreamed up by a marketeer.

My guess is that they are all standard SATA ports, but the prefix character represents a specific type of vendor/product specific functionality, like the iSATA ports are for SATA disks that use their internal raid controller, and sSATA are standard internal SATA ports used by another internal controller option.
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Lonelygirl_2012Author Commented:
Thank you dlethe,

Exactly what I tried to understand in a simple way of explanation.
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NetbytesCommented:
The Patsburg PCH, found in C600 and X79 chipsets, introduces a secondary SATA controller, or sSATA, which allows having up to two independent RAID controllers running off of the motherboard. (SATA & sSATA)  It should be noted that not all X79 chipsets will have this capability as it wasn't fully exposed until the C600 chipset was released.  However some X79 boards are starting to expose this new feature.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
sSATA is still a marketing term rather than a spec.  We had motherboards with secondary SATA (sSATA) controllers 10 years ago.  The difference is that they were non-RAID.   So isn't it fair to say that sSATA was done 10 years ago and is nothing special?

Now if the term was sRSATA, with the R for RAID, perhaps you'd have a point ;)
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NetbytesCommented:
I don't remember ever seeing an sSATA spec before the introduction of Patsburg.  Granted it's an Intel spec and not IEEE.  However, nonetheless, it is a term which is being used in all configuration documentation for C600, and some X79, chipsets.

I do apologize that I wasn't specific in my first response in that both SATA controllers can be independently configured as either IDE, AHCI, or RAID.  As such, calling it something specifically referring to RAID is not appropriate.  Calling it a secondary SATA controller makes perfect sense.  That's why it's sSATA. (Secondary SATA.)
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Here is a Japanese manual from 2007 that uses the sSATA acronym for an external SATA enclosure.  It just goes to show sSATA was used as a SATA-related acronym long before intel used it for it's spin on the acronym

http://www.iodata.jp/lib/manual/pdf2/rhd-ux_m-manu200454-01.pdf

P.S., i couldn't resist and checked.  SATA is trademarked, sSATA is not, and no vendor has even tried to trademark that term.

There are other examples if you care to search the web, but I made my point.  sSATA is not an industry spec.  It is a vendor-specific acronym going back to at least 2007 that can mean several things relating to SATA technology.

I also checked the t13.org site, the official place of the ANSI specification.  ZERO hits on sSATA, so there hasn't even been an email regarding a proposal to make this any sort of official SATA-related hardware or even software spec.
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NetbytesCommented:
Yes indeed.  You made your point...
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DavidPresidentCommented:
No worries, this gave me the incentive to look it up as well.  If I came off as a jerk, I apologize. That was to my intent.
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