AT Attachment

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Parallel ATA (PATA), originally ATA, is an interface standard for the connection of storage devices such as hard disks, solid-state drives, floppy drives, and CD-ROM drives in computers. The standard is maintained by X3/INCITS committee.[1] It uses the underlying AT Attachment (ATA) and AT Attachment Packet Interface (ATAPI) standards.

The current Parallel ATA standard is the result of a long history of incremental technical development, which began with the original AT Attachment interface, developed for use in early PC AT equipment. The ATA interface itself evolved in several stages from Western Digital's original Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) interface. As a result, many near-synonyms for ATA/ATAPI and its previous incarnations exist, including abbreviations such as IDE which are still in common informal use. After the market introduction of Serial ATA in 2003, the original ATA was retroactively renamed Parallel ATA.

Parallel ATA cables have a maximum allowable length of only 18 in (457 mm). Because of this length limit the technology normally appears as an internal computer storage interface. For many years ATA provided the most common and the least expensive interface for this application. By the beginning of 2007, it had largely been replaced by Serial ATA (SATA) in new systems.

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