Serial Advanced Technology Attachment
From Unofficial BOINC Wiki
Serial Advanced Technology Attachment or (SATA) is a new standard for connecting disk, CD, and DVD drive into computer systems. This standard builds on the older Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) that was its direct ancestor. As its name implies, SATA is based on serial signaling technology, unlike the older IDE hard drives that use parallel signaling. SATA technology has several practical advantages over the parallel signaling used in hard drives since the 1980s. SATA cables are more flexible, thinner, and less massive than the ribbon cables required for conventional IDE hard drives.
With thinner cables the SATA equipped systems have fewer large bulky cables that interfere with the movement of cooling air in the computer box. The length of these smaller cables can also be longer that the older ribbon cables allowing a more effective placement of the Disk Drives within the computer cabinet.