Computer hardware is evolving at a rapid pace. The developments that are taking place are geared towards making more efficient machines. Each new invention is soon superseded by another improved version of its like. This makes it difficult for the general public to keep up to date.
The Advanced Technology Attachment with Packet Interface is just one of those things mentioned above. It is an innovation geared towards enhancing the performance of your PC. What exactly does the ATAPI do? Basically it is considered to be the standard interface used to connect different devices such as CD/DVD drives, hard drives, RAM, motherboard and other such devices.
The standard that has been used on a global scale was developed by Western Digital. The International Committee for Information Technology Standards also known as X3 is responsible for maintaining the standard. The ATAPI is an evolved form of its predecessor the ATA interface. The ATAPI itself has been superseded with the invention of the SATA in 2003. This is a notch higher in terms of standards than the ATAPI.
The ATAPI was designed more than 20 years ago. In those days it was considered to be quite a revolutionary achievement in serial interface technology. This is because it overcame the limitations of devices that were being used before it such as the ATA.
How did the ATAPI do that exactly? The ATA only supported the hard drives. In comparison the ATAPI could support other devices such as CD and DVD drives. This in those days was the big achievement of ATAPI. The ATAPI cable was constructed in such a manner that it had forty tightly packed ribbons which formed its width. These ribbons would then terminate forty pins at both ends. The socket in which these ribbons were plugged in had forty cylindrical protrusions which are open from one end.
The ATAPI remained the top of the line device of its kind for years. It was known for its reliability and efficiency regarding the internal serial communication. ATAPI was not without its downsides. The device was limited in a number of ways because the ATA cable standards were allowed only eighteen inches of length. Cables up to thirty six inches could also be purchased.
The fact that they had such a limited length restricted their use to internal wiring only. As the technology evolved and ATAPI version 6 and 7 were released they had a much better data transfer speed or about 100 and 133 megabytes/s respectively.
Later on the ATAPI-5 was launched which had 80 ribbons instead of 40. This was done in order to increase the data transfer rates. It should be noted that even this device used 40 for the purpose of actual data transfer and the additional forty were to serve as the ground wire for each of the other signal wires.