Interoperability Frequently Asked Questions

Program Overview

Testing Requirements

Testing Events & Locations

Testing Considerations

 

Why does SATA-IO have an Interoperability Program?

The purpose of the Program is to ensure compatibility and interoperability of Serial ATA Specification product implementations. Companies that participate in the Program demonstrate a desire to support industry compatibility and may choose to list passing products on the SATA-IO “Integrators List” — publicly available here.

Is the SATA-IO Interoperability Program the same as a Compliance Program or a Logo Program?

The Interoperability Program is similar to, though not the same as, compliance programs for other technologies. Typically, compliance programs are expected to validate 100% of a specification’s technical requirements. SATA-IO’s Interoperability Program tests are defined only to audit the requirements that truly impact product interoperability or compatibility.

SATA-IO also has a Certified Logo Program. This is separate from the standard Serial ATA logo, which is used only to indicate SATA-IO membership. Use of the Serial ATA logo(s) is defined outside the scope of the Interoperability Program.

What is the Integrators List?

Launched in May 2006, the Integrators List (IL) is a web-based database listing information on products that have passed the specified Serial ATA Interoperability testing. The Integrators List contains both product information and vendor contact information.

What types of products are being tested under the Interoperability Program?

The most recent version of the Interoperability Program includes tests for the following types of Serial ATA products:

  • Hard Disk Drives (HDD) - 2.5" and 3.5"
  • Solid State Drives (SSD)
  • M.2 SSDs
  • microSATA SSD in a BGA package
  • Host controllers, both system boards, host bus adapters, ATAPI devices such as CD-ROM players and DVD readers/writers
  • Cables - complete cable/connector assemblies only
  • Building Blocks (i.e. any compatible product - such as integrated circuit or connector - that can be integrated to create a product ready for system integration)

Who manages the Interoperability Program?

The Interoperability Program policies and procedures have been developed by participant members of the SATA-IO. The program is managed by the SATA-IO, the organization which maintains all SATA technical specifications.

Do I have to be a member of SATA-IO to participate in the Interoperability Program?

Testing is available to non-members. For products to be considered for Integrators List inclusion, the product under question must have passed the Serial ATA Interoperability testing, either at an Interoperability Workshop or an independent test lab. Non-members must pay a fee of $1,000 per listing for inclusion on the Integrators List. 

Can my company be involved in development of the Interoperability Program requirements and testing?

As with any other technical or marketing work group within SATA-IO, contributing member companies who have the appropriate resources may participate in developing the Interoperability Program requirements. For more information on getting your company involved in Interoperability Program development, please contact SATA-IO Administration (administration@sata-io.org).

If my product successfully completes the Interop Testing, does my company obtain access to the Serial ATA logo(s)?

The certified logo is a SATA-IO member-only benefit. If your product passes Interoperability Testing, the approved models are eligible to use the Certified Logos. Information on the Certified Logo Program can be found on the Certified Logo Program web page.

What is the difference between a "Plugfest" and "Interoperability Workshop"?

SATA-IO defines Plugfest as an event where product compatibility testing occurs, which may or may not use testing from a pre-defined test procedure called an MOI; it is up to the participants to define testing so it might be as rigorous as complete MOI defined tests or as simple as a basic plug and try test. In any case, SATA-IO collects no results. Conversely, an Interoperability Workshop is a completely structured testing event where all testing conforms to approved or proposed test requirements and the MOI’s procedures. For more information on Interoperability Workshops see Section 3.3 of the Serial ATA Interoperability Program Policy document.

How is the information collected at an “Interoperability Workshop” or “IW” used?

Test results collected at the IW serves one or more of following purposes:

  • Qualify products for listing on the Integrator’s List
  • Verify the definition of the Unified Test Document requirements
  • Qualify a specific tool vendor’s MOI procedures

All of these have to be done at what is essentially the same time.

I am a test vendor. How do I get an MOI approved?

To get an MOI approved, there are two main requirements:

1. The MOI document must be reviewed and approved to be a complete and accurate description of the procedures.

2. Result demonstration: The equipment vendor must also demonstrate that the proposed MOI provides:

    • Consistent results with other approved MOI providers
    • Appropriate results for a wide variety of products (a minimum of 3 products from each product type the vendor is getting approved for).

    The easiest place to gather data for 2a and 2b is at an IW. For more information see Section 3.2.1 of the Serial ATA Interoperability Program Policy document.

    I still have other questions, who can I contact to get answers?

    Your questions can be submitted to the SATA-IO Administration (administration@sata-io.org)

    What test documents are available for reference?

    The SATA-IO maintains a list of documents, including the specification and test procedures that are the required guideline documents for the Interoperability Program. The list includes:

    It is the responsibility of the submitting company to be versed in these documents prior to submitting a product for Interoperability testing. Upon ratification of the new documentation, the updated material will replace the previous revisions of testing.

    What are the Product Test Requirements?

    The Interoperability Program's Unified Test Document defines the tests used to verify product adherence to a subset of specification requirements governed by the Interoperability requirements and test procedures. Each product submission will be tested in two areas:

    • Specification requirements
    • System interoperability

    What defines the specification test requirements?

    The first set of test requirements consist of a specific subset of specification requirements that are critical for product interoperability. Each requirement includes an expected behavior (as defined in Serial ATA Revision 3.3), measurement requirements and clear pass/fail criteria. The testing requirements are directly tied to the defined test procedures in the Serial ATA Interoperability Program Revision 1.5.0 Unified Test Document revision 1.01.

    What defines the system interoperability test requirements?

    System interoperability testing is a defined test scenario designed to verify real-world behavior of a Serial ATA device in a system environment. The product under test will be inserted into the interoperability test suite to verify expected behavior in a Serial ATA platform environment. The system interoperability testing is defined within the Serial ATA Interoperability Program Revision 1.5.0 Unified Test Document revision 1.01.

    What defines the Phy test requirements?

    The Phy test requirements refer to the requirements associated with verifying a portion of a product’s electrical characteristics. These requirements relate to a subset of existing Serial ATA specification requirements mentioned above.

    Where do I get the requirements documentation to complete the Interoperability Program?

    The documentation associated with testing requirements and procedures are available publicly on SATA-IO.org. Draft materials for new testing requirements and procedures are available to members on the SATA-IO Logo Work Group website.

    I noticed there are different revisions of testing requirements documented. Which tests are required for my product?

    The latest approved set of Interoperability Testing requirements will be those publicly available per the above reference. Over time, the Interoperability Program documentation may be updated to modify existing test requirements or add new test requirements through the advancement of Serial ATA technology and development of the specification. With that in mind, it is expected that this growth will cause the Interoperability documentation to be revised on a major release level. Upon release of a new major release level, there will be a 60 day phase out period of any previous revisions of the testing requirements. It will be required that after the 60 day phase out period, that the test lab will verify all subsequent products against the newly approved revision of testing requirements.

    How do I request that my product be tested?

    There are two mechanisms for testing products for IL inclusion:

    • Approved Independent Test laboratories (go here for contact information)
    • Serial ATA Interoperability Workshops (participants must register)

    Final consideration for inclusion in the IL is based on the results from one or more of the above mechanisms.

    How does the Serial ATA Interoperability Workshop work?

    The SATA-IO will host an Interoperability Workshop approximately twice a year or as needed in geographically appropriate areas. Approved Independent Test Labs will be able to participate. Final selection for staffing of the test suites will be done by the SATA-IO. The Interoperability Workshops will involve several test suites covering the major areas of testing included in the Interoperability Program. Products will be scheduled for testing in each of the appropriate suites for execution of the entire Interoperability Program testing throughout the week of the event.

    Will I be able to get my product tested even if I cannot attend the Interop Workshops?

    Yes, there are currently several test labs approved for different areas of testing. More information regarding the approved test labs can be found on the SATA-IO Web site.

    I am an Independent Test Lab, how do I get approval to do testing?

    SATA-IO is not seeking nor accepting applications for additional test labs at this time.

    Do I have to request testing for all of my products, even if they are similar?

    No. The SATA-IO Interoperability Program has defined some policies relative to "qualification by similarity" where products may fall within a family through similarities and are not differentiated by any Serial ATA interface or protocol changes. Details may be found in the "Qualification by Similarity" section of the Interoperability Program Policy document.

    What modifications to a product or differences between products are acceptable without requiring retest?

    See the "Requirements for Retesting" section of the Interoperability Program Policy document.

    What modifications or differences are not allowed? What re-testing is required?

    See the "Requirements for Retesting" section of the Interoperability Program Policy document.

    What happens when my product passes the testing? What happens if it fails?

    Once it has been determined that a product has passed the requirements for the Interoperability Program and is approved for listing on the Integrators List, the samples of that product must be kept (by the SATA-IO or appropriate test lab) for at least 6 months. Information about the product will be obtained from the vendor and released onto the Integrators List, located on SATA-IO.org.

    If it has been determined that a product failed one or more tests and will not be approved for the Integrators List, the product samples will be returned to the vendor.

    In either case, the summary test results used for determination of pass or fail will be released to the vendor for the appropriate product under test.

    When and how will I receive the SATA-IO test results for my product?

    Interoperability Workshop participants can usually obtain the raw test data on a Flash drive at the conclusion of testing.  Final (graded) test results are usually available within 30 days after the Workshop.

    How can I list a product that has already been listed by a different vendor?

    Products may be retested for Integrators List posting by a different vendor or reseller. In these cases, products being listed again with different vendor or model information must complete the 'Retest Form' available from SATA-IO. SATA-IO will assign the same Test Identification number (TID) to the retested product as the TID assigned to the original product. The retested product must also complete testing at either an approved test lab or Interoperability Workshop. The test results, along with the Retest Form, will be reviewed by SATA-IO.

    Upon approval of the test results, the retested product will be posted on the Integrators List with the same TID as the previously-approved product. This allows the retested product to leverage tests previously listed or submitted. A second listing for the retested product will be added to the Integrators List with the new vendor information and model information