During IDF (Intel Developer Forum) Fall 2005, which is happening right now in San Francisco, California, Intel presented the final specs for the new CE-ATA hard drive standard, especially the connector format this new standard will use. The images you will see in this article are from CE-ATA presentation on this show.
CE-ATA is a standard for small hard drives targeted to consumer electronics products, such as media players (MP3, video, etc), digital cameras and digital camcorders. Right now the main standard available to this segment is CF+ (Compact Flash), which uses a 50-pin connector. Too many pins for a very small device – consumer electronics products use 1-inch hard drives! Also it uses 5 V signals, while everything else has already moved or is moving to 3.3 V signaling.
CE-ATA connector uses only 10 pins and has only 1/200th the volume of CF+:
- CF+ connector: 1.69 x 1.43 x 0.13 inches (42.8 x 36.4 x 3.3 mm)
- CE-ATA connector: 0.32 x 0.13 x 0.035 inches (8.1 x 3.4 x 0.9 mm)
In Figure 3, you can see a CE-ATA drive from Hitachi, which measures only 1.18 x 1.58 inches (30 mm x 40 mm). Compare it to a quarter, it’s really amazing. Its connector has Washington’s nose to chin distance!