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AT Attachment. A popular 16-bit interface standard that extends the ISA bus of the IBM PC-AT to attach peripherals;. It has been developed through a number of generations.

The original ATA specification defined what was commonly known as Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE). Later versions defined EIDE and then higher speed interfaces.

ATA Version Also known as Bus width Maximum dData rate Notes
ATA-1 IDE 8 or 16 bit 8.3MB/sec 40 pin ribbon cable. Maximum of two devices.
Fast ATA
Fast IDE
8 or 16 bit 16.6MB/sec Maximum number of devices increased to four.
ATA-3   16 bit 16MB/sec CRC added.
ATA-4 Ulta-ATA/33 16 bit 33MB/sec  
ATA-5 Ulta-ATA/66 16 bit 66MB/sec 80 pin ribbon cable, 40 pin connector (extra cables for noise reduction).
These cables typically have three connectors. The blue connector should be plugged into the mother board, the grey (middle) connector to any slave device and the grey (end) connector to the master device.
ATA-6 Ultra-ATA/100 16 bit 100MB/sec
ATA-7 Ultra-ATA/133 16 bit 130MB/sec

ATA is but is now generally referred to as PATA to distinguish it from SATA. SATA uses a totally different interface from PATA and is seen as its natural successor.

For more information see: