Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) is a standard interface for connecting storage devices such as hard disks, solid state disks and CD-ROM drives inside personal computers.
The standard is maintained by X3/INCITS committee T13. Many synonyms and near-synonyms for ATA exist, including abbreviations such as IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) and ATAPI (Advanced Technology Attachment Packet Interface). Also, with the market introduction of Serial ATA in 2003, the original ATA was retroactively renamed Parallel ATA (PATA).
Parallel ATA standards allow cable lengths up to only 18 inches (46 centimeters) although cables up to 36 inches (91 cm) can be readily purchased. Because of this length limit, the technology normally appears as an internal computer storage interface. It provides the most common and the least expensive interface for this application.
ATA connector on motherboard