The origin of the phrases ATA and IDE [WAS:RE: formatting MFM drives on a IBM PC]

Alan Perry aperry at
Mon Oct 2 14:04:11 CDT 2017

On 10/2/17 11:34 AM, Chuck Guzis via cctech wrote:
> On 10/02/2017 10:03 AM, Alan Perry via cctech wrote:
>> Here is a complete quote from the minutes:
>> "Jim McGrath of Quantum defined his company's interest as being
>> primarily in the ability to embed SCSI into a drive without there being
>> a physical SCSI bus present. He described some problems of this
>> environment, with references to the PC AT bus in particular. Jim
>> believes that the greatest benefit of the CAM will come from a "severe
>> pruning of SCSI functionality in order to meet the goal of a precise,
>> simple, software interface."
> While ATA was codified by the CAM working group, one should not be under
> the impression that CAM was limited to any particular physical interface.
> CAM stands for "Common Access Method" and is applicable to a number of
> physical interfaces, including SCSI.   Future Domain, for example,
> patterned their drivers along CAM conventions, using CCB (CAM control
> blocks).  Adaptec, on the other hand, perferred ASPI.  Of the two, CAM
> is far more flexible and varied.  After Adaptec acquired FD, they
> provided a "middle" driver to convert ASPI calls to CAM.
> Just saying...
FWIW I included the full quote from the minutes as elaboration on my 
summary since someone asked a question related to it.

I used to work on SATA and wrote a brief history of the evolution of 
disk interfaces to present to new college grad hires. When someone else 
brought the topic of the origin of the phrases, it got me wondering 
specifically who came up with "AT Attachment", partly since I indirectly 
knew Bob Snively.


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