Serial ATA


Let MindShare Bring "Serial ATA 3.0 & AHCI" to Life for You

MindShare brings the SATA course to life through its interactive classroom style, demonstrations, and hands-on exercises. This course covers all aspects of the SATA 2.0 and 3.0 specifications from a hardware design perspective and also discusses the software requirements of SATA implementations. The Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) is also described along with its numerous registers.

MindShare Courses On Serial ATA (SATA):

Course Name

Virtual Classroom

Serial ATA (SATA) 3.0 & AHCI
3 days

4 days

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All of MindShare's classroom and virtual classroom courses can be customized to fit the needs of your group.

Comprehensive Serial ATA Architecture Course Info

You Will Learn:

  • The sequence of events associated with SATA initialization, including Out Of Band (OOB) signaling
  • Detailed operation of a SATA HBA and drive when executing legacy commands
  • Details regarding the implementation and operation of the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI)
  • How to use Arbor to check and verify proper settings within AHCI
  • How to verify proper command protocol associated with each of the command categories
  • How to verify proper control protocol associated with writes to the Control register
  • How to validate proper FIS (Frame Information Structure) protocol given trace captures from a SATA protocol analyzer
  • The actions taken by each layer in the SATA interface
  • The details associated with the implementation of Port Multipliers The operation and performance advantages of Native Command Queuing (NCQ) including multi-media support

Course Length: 3 Days

Who Should Attend?

Hardware designers, software developers, and system validation engineers will all benefit from this course. Both hardware and software requirements of a SATA subsystem are detailed and explained through numerous examples and the use of protocol analyzer traces.

Course Outline:

  • Part I: SATA Overview
    • Evolution of Parallel ATA
    • Motivation for SATA
    • SATA Overview
    • Arbor Lab: Scan system and understand Arbor features
    •  Intro to FIS Transfers
  • Part II: FIS Transmission Protocols
    • FIS Types & Formats
    • Transport & Link Protocol Details
    • FIS Retry (Transport Layer)
    • Data Flow Control
    • Physical Layer Functions
    • Error Detection & Handling
  • Part III: Command & Control Protocols
    • The Command Protocol
    • Control Protocol
  • Part IV: SATA 2.0
    • SATA II Features
    • Native Command Queuing (NCQ)
    • Arbor Lab: Verify NCQ operation
    • Port Multipliers
    • Port Selectors
    • Enclosure Services
  • Part V: Physical Layer Details
    • SATA OOB Initialization
    • PHY Electrical Characteristics
    • Cables/Connectors
    • Hot Plug
    • Link Power Management
    • BIST
  • Part VI: SATA 3.0
    • Increased Speed to 6GB/sec
    • Smaller Connectors
    • Enhanced Link Power Management
    • Multimedia Support Via NCQ
    • High-Speed Signal Testing
  • Part VII: Advanced Host Controller Interface
    • PCIe Configuration of AHCI
    • Arbor Lab: Evaluating the AHCI Capability Registers
    • Firmware Initialization (Protocol Analyzer)
    • Arbor Lab: Port Registers
    • Arbor Lab: Host Software Creates Memory Structures
    • Arbor Lab: Host Software Creates Commands
    • AHCI Error Detection and Handling
    • AHCI Initialization
    • Power Management
    • Hot Plug Operation
    • AHCI Resets

Recommended Prerequisites:

A solid understanding of one or more storage bus protocols such as ATA or similar architecture is recommended but not required.

Training Materials:

1) Presentation PDF handout

2) Optional license to MindShare Arbor Software test and debug tool to access AHCI controller registers

3) MindShare’s SATA Storage Technology eBook
Author: Don Anderson
Publisher: MindShare Press


SATA Storage Technology