eSATA Evolution Will Dump Power Brick

Highly welcome tweak planned for the storage standard.

The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) probably couldn’t have picked a more complex name, but it does have exciting plans to simplify our storage woes.

This week the consortium has announced its ‘Power Over eSATA Initiative’ – a new specification that will provide power to external SATA devices without the need for a separate power connection. In other words, goodbye power brick!

To overcome the limitations faced by today’s products, the SATA-IO says Power Over eSATA will take the form of a cable allowing a single drive to be powered directly through it from the host system. Couldn’t be simpler! Even better, SATA-IO says it aims to maintain full backwards compatibility with the existing eSATA connector form factor and retain the same data rates as provided by current SATA II 3Gbps products.

“Enhancing eSATA with power delivery will provide a new level of convenience to the designer and the end user,” said Knut Grimsrud, SATA-IO president. “By eliminating the need for a separate power connection, customers can more easily expand their storage, making Serial ATA an even more attractive solution for mainstream storage applications.”

Now, given the number of devices which incorporate eSATA drives – notably in the home cinema market where looks are so vitally important – the chance to toss away our power bricks and replace them with standard cables will thrill many. More than that however, future devices should have more streamlined designs and a more efficient power draw.

SATA-IO says to expect Power Over eSATA solutions (both cables and from-scratch products) to be available in the second half of the year. It’s a long time since we were so keen to go out and buy cabling…

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