Consumer Electronics ATA

What Does Consumer Electronics ATA Mean?

Consumer Electronics ATA (CE-ATA) is a standards group created to define an interface for small form-factor (SFF) storage devices.


CE-ATA is derived from the Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) storage interface for consumer electronics (CE) equipment. CE-ATA standards are more efficient and smaller than previous storage specifications and are designed for media players, portable audio players, handheld devices and mobile devices. According to industry standards, CE-ATA benefits disk drive suppliers, silicon businesses, commercial integrated hardware companies and consumers.

Techopedia Explains Consumer Electronics ATA

CE-ATA is designed with an integrated low-pin count and low voltage for cost efficiency. A key CE-ATA objective is to provide a standardized connection for SFF disk drives, such as a one-inch Microdrive.

CE-ATA is physically and electronically compatible with MultiMediaCard (MMC) standards and is generally used as a portable storage device medium. CE-ATA uses an MMC connector on host devices, such as a PC, and corresponds to the correct cable and circuit connection on a CE-ATA hard disc drive (HDD).

ATA – a standard HDD interface for an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) drive with a 16-bit bus – was developed and promoted by Western Digital in 1986 as the Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) standard, which later progressed to Enhanced IDE (EIDE) (1994). ATA has advanced EIDE, which is three-four times faster than the IDE standard.

In 2008, the CE-ATA Workgroup Steering Committee terminated all CE-ATA activities, including improving CE-ATA 2.0 – the next version – as CE-ATA users transitioned to other interface technologies, like SATA and parallel ATA (PATA).

The CE-ATA Workgroup manages CE-ATA specifications, which were developed in 2005 by Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, Intel Corporation, Toshiba America Information Systems, Seagate Technology and Marvell Semiconductor.


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Margaret Rouse 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 explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…