Advanced Technology Attachment

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What Does Advanced Technology Attachment Mean?

Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) is a standard physical interface for connecting storage devices within a computer. ATA allows hard disks and CD-ROMs to be internally connected to the motherboard and perform basic input/output functions.

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ATA is also known as Integrated Device Electronics (IDE) and is referred to as ATA with Packet Interface (ATAPI).

Techopedia Explains Advanced Technology Attachment

The ATA interface standard was designed to connect supported, integrated and portable storage devices without the need for an external controller. The ATA interface is basically a set of thin wires merged within a cable bus that are used to transfer data in and out of the disk drives. Initially, ATA supported parallel communication and was also called Parallel ATA (PATA). It consisted of a 40-pin controller cable and data transfer speed of 16-32 bits at a time. However, PATA was replaced by Serial ATA (SATA) – which has faster data I/O speeds – in computer systems developed from 2007 onwards.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.