As expected, Intel announced CE-ATA today at the Intel Developer Forum. CE-ATA is an initiative to design a new storage interface for handheld and portable consumer electronics (CE). Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, Marvell Semiconductor Inc., Seagate Technology and Toshiba America Information Systems are also working on the project to connect small form factor disk drives to devices such as cell phones, MP3 players and PDAs.
CE-ATA is being developed separately from SATA because of the vastly different power and speed requirements of mobile products. Handhelds cant take advantage of the high tranfer rates of SATA devices, but could use a lower voltage, more efficient interface that would improve battery life. A main focus of the new design will be to lower the pin count over existing connectors, such as commonly available CF slots or the ZIF connecters commonly used in CE and handheld devices.
The specification is scheduled to be finished in the first half of 2005, with products using the technology later in the year.
In addition, the Serial ATA Working Group announced its transition into a trade association, the Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO).