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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
Advanced Technology Attachment
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storage, hardware, standard (ATA, AT Attachment or
"Integrated Drive Electronics", IDE) A disk drive interface
standard based on the IBM PC ISA 16-bit bus but also
used on other personal computers. The ATA specification
deals with the power and data signal interfaces between the
motherboard and the integrated disk controller and drive.
The ATA "bus" only supports two devices - master and slave.
ATA drives may in fact use any physical interface the
manufacturer desires, so long as an embedded translator is
included with the proper ATA interface. ATA "controllers" are
actually direct connections to the ISA bus.
Originally called IDE, the ATA interface was invented by
Compaq around 1986, and was developed with the help of
Western Digital, Imprimis, and then-upstart ConnerPeripherals. Efforts to standardise the interface started in
1988; the first draft appeared in March 1989, and a finished
version was sent to ANSI group X3T10 (who named it "Advanced
Technology Attachment" (ATA)) for ratification in November