You must be familiar with PATA (Parallel ATA) or SATA (Serial ATA) interface that are common in PC architecture for hard disk or optical drive connection. But some of us may not hear of eSATA (External SATA) even though it was defined few years back in 2004. Evolution has changed the specification with faster data transmission but there is still similarity among them. All of them are hot pluggable but none of them can be powered without an external power cable. Unlike USB 2.0 interface, the lacking of power line makes them less popular among consumer electronics products. With the recent announcement from SATA-IO (Serial ATA International Organization, things may change. The organization is defining a new standard that will include power cable as part of the interface to external modules.
With the integration in place, the users no longer need to search for external power cable just to get the devices working. While with the additional power trace in the cable, it doesn’t affect existing performance and is still able to maintain the current theoretical maximum data transmission speed of 3Gbps, One thing for sure, the new cable will be backward compatible to the existing eSATA connectors so that they won’t introduce more trouble to the PC manufacturers. Named as Power Over eSATA, the specification should be released by second half of 2008.