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This paper describes a new key feature of SATA standard, native command queuing (NCQ). This feature is specific to the SATA interface but is similar in some ways to other reordering protocols developed for the small computer system interface (SCSI). Building a queue is the first component of this protocol. The drive must know when it receives a command whether it should queue the command or whether it should execute that command immediately. NCQ uses a new command protocol with new command opcodes that allows the device to know whether a command can be queued. Thus NCQ is more beneficial to the home PC environment, providing the storage subsystem with better performance for today's end-user requirements as media accessibility and the use of multiple applications simultaneously becomes a more commonplace event in the digital home.
Date of Publication: Oct.-Nov. 2005