Figure 5. Example of SATA devices in a domain.
Cabling and connector
SATA replaces the parallel ATA 40-pin connector and 18-inch long flat ribbon cable with a 7-pin
connector (four signal lines and three ground lines) and a small diameter cable up to 1 meter long
(Figure 6). The thinner serial cable improves both airflow and routing. SATA also features a new
7/8-inch wide, 15-pin, single-row power cable connector. The power connector provides optional
hot-plug capability, which allows a drive to be swapped out without powering down the machine.
Figure 6. The 7-pin SATA data cable and the 15-pin power cable
A SATA initiator is a controller that can be embedded into the motherboard (Figure 7) or a host bus
adapter (HBA) plugged into a PCI expansion slot. Embedded SATA controllers typically have two
ports for connection to internal SATA devices while a SATA HBA can have a number of ports for
internal or external devices.
Figure 7. Embedded SATA controller