ATA/PATA: Advanced Technology Attachment/Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment
ATA stands for Advanced Technology Attachment. ATA is the older name of PATA. ATA is renamed Parallel ATA (PATA) when newer Serial ATA (SATA) was introduced. ATA is a standard physical interface that connects the storage devices like hard-drive, CD-ROM, and other drives to the motherboard. ATA standards only allow cable upto 18 inches due to which it works internally. It is designed to connect portable storage devices without using an external controller.
ATA is the most common and low cost interface that provides a reliable speed. It is basically made of thin wires and cable bus. It is also known as Integrated Device Electronics (IDE). The ATA standards are backward compatible. It means each newer version of ATA or new ATA drives can be used with older ATA interfaces.
The first version of ATA was developed by the company named Western Digital in 1986. Originally, it was known as ATA but after the introduction of SATA (Serial ATA) in 2003, it became PATA. Both PATA and SATA are IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) devices.
ATA uses 40 pins connectors on either side of the cable and 40 or 80 wire designs. One end is connected to the motherboard and other is connected to the hard drive. PATA uses a single Bus but multiple wires. ATA can be connected to two devices at a time, one is called slave and other is called master.