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EIDE
Last modified: Monday, September 10, 2001 

Short for Enhanced IDE, a newer version of the IDE mass storage device interface standard developed by Western Digital Corporation. It supports data rates of between 4 and 16.6 MBps, about three to four times faster than the old IDE standard. In addition, it can support mass storage devices of up to 8.4 gigabytes, whereas the old standard was limited to 528 MB. Because of its lower cost, enhanced EIDE has replaced SCSI in many areas.

EIDE is sometimes referred to as Fast ATA or Fast IDE, which is essentially the same standard, developed and promoted by Seagate Technologies. It is also sometimes called ATA-2.

There are four EIDE modes defined. The most common is Mode 4, which supports transfer rates of 16.6 MBps. There is also a new mode, called ATA-3 or Ultra ATA, that supports transfer rates of 33 MBps.

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Related Links

Considerations before buying an ATA-2/EIDE controller
Provides information on features to consider before buying a Fast AT Attachment (ATA)/EIDE interface.

Enhanced IDE, Fast ATA, and Fast ATA-2 FAQ
This pages provides links to a two part FAQ addressing issues surrounding Enhanced IDE, ATA-2, ATAPI and Enhanced BIOSes. It includes practical questions, background information and lists of net resources.

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ATA

ATAPI

ESDI

IDE interface

SCSI


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