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NCQ

(Native Command Queuing) A feature of the SATA technology that reduces the number of read/write head movements in a hard disk. It queues up read/write commands and executes them in the most efficient order. Command queuing is also used for solid state drives, as processor commands can accumulate faster than even non-mechanical drives can execute them. See AHCI.



AHCI

(Advanced Host Controller Interface) A standard controller interface for SATA drives from Intel, AMD and other hardware vendors. Introduced in 2004 to take advantage of SATA features such as hot swapping and native command queuing (see hot swap and NCQ), the OS and other low-level file management utilities interface with an AHCI driver that commands the SATA controller (host bus adapter) to transfer data. For earlier computers without AHCI drivers, SATA was designed to support the legacy PATA interface. See NVMe, SATA and PATA.



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