eSATA is an external version of the Serial ATA technology used to hook up internal hard disk drives. But despite being a faster, more efficient external storage connection compared to USB, its usage is less convenient as it requires the use of two cables – one for power and one for data – whereas a PC-hosted USB link can supply sufficient power to operate an external storage device.
In light of this, the Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) has announced that it is working on a new specification, dubbed “Power Over eSATA,” that will enable external SATA devices to draw power for a single drive directly from the host system using a special power over eSATA cable.
According to the SATA-IO, the new cable will remain compatible with the existing eSATA connector and support the current maximum interface transfer rate of 3Gb/s. Power over eSATA solutions are expected to be available on the market as soon as the second half of 2008.