The origin of the phrases ATA and IDE [WAS:RE: formatting MFM

Tom Gardner t.gardner at
Wed Oct 4 13:08:25 CDT 2017

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Perry [mailto:aperry at] 
Sent: Tuesday, October 03, 2017 12:27 PM
To: cctalk at
Subject: Re: The origin of the phrases ATA and IDE [WAS:RE: formatting MFM




I am continuing to investigate, but I think that IDE came first. I have found references that describe the Compaq/WD/CDC Wren II HH disk (which pre-dates the formation of the SCSI-2 CAM committee) as "IDE". Some of this reportedly comes from the people who did the work (years after the fact). However, I have yet to find period documents that include the term "IDE". I don't know if the people who did the work used the term at the time or were applying it after the fact.


Here are a couple documents that I used as starting points -






I looked at Compaq maintenance documents for the pre-CAM drives and did not find any name for the interface we now call ATA.


Both “starting point” documents were written well after the fact and I can say for sure the Wikifoundry document applied the terms after the fact without any attempt at sequencing.  I knew Gene and I am pretty sure his article did not attempt to time sequence the terms.





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