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TCQ
Last modified: Monday, August 11, 2003 

Short for tagged command queuing, a method of processing requests from a host device to a hard drive that is storing the data requested. TCQ was first introduced with the SCSI-2 standard as a way to allow hard drives to accept multiple concurrent commands from a host PC. When commands arrive at the drive's buffer, they are tagged with an identifier and then reordered by the drive’s microprocessor to minimize the distance the drive's read head needs to move laterally along the platter looking for data. For example, if a command is looking for data in one section of the drive and a following queued command is looking for data in a neighboring area, the SCSI host adapter can reorder the commands to make the two occur sequentially. This is a different system than SCSI-1 or IDE/ATA, which will allow only a single command to be outstanding at a time to any device and processes requests serially.

Tagged command queuing also is called command queuing and reordering.

Also see What's Inside a Hard Drive? in the Did You Know . . . ? section of Webopedia.

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Hard Disk Drives

Hardware

Procedures, Functions and Routines

related terms

ATA

hard disk drive

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SCSI


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