External Serial Advanced Technology Attachment
A new version of the SATA interface for external equipment. SATA is the serial version of the ATA or IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) standards, designed for the internal connection of the motherboard to the hard disk drive.
eSATA is being presented as a competitor to the fast peripheral interfaces USB 2.0 and FireWire.
The main advantage of eSATA compared to USB 2.0 is the band speed. USB 2.0 only allows a maximum theoretical speed of 60 MB/sec whereas eSATA allows speeds up to 150 MB/sec, or even 300 MB/sec in eSATALL mode.
eSATA should allow more robust external disks to be used without being limited by the standard USB 2.0 and FireWire port bandwidths.
eSATA uses new ports and shielded cables specially designed for use with external disks.