What is IDE and how do IDE drives work?
The Integrated Drive Electronics Interface, or IDE Interface, is the most widely used interface for connecting storage devices such as Hard Drives, CD-ROMs, CDRWs, DVD-ROMs, and DVD+-RWs. Other common names for this interface include Parallel ATA, PATA, ATA, and UDMA. An extension of the IDE interface is the Enhanced IDE interface – EIDE Interface – which, when introduced, allowed for drives larger than 528MB.
IDE drives feature 40-pins and attach to a system’s motherboard by way of a Ribbon Cable. Originally the ribbon cables used with IDE devices were 40 wires. With the introduction UltraDMA 66, the number of wires was doubled to 80 while the pin count was kept the same. These additional wires were simply ground wires put in to reduce the effects of crosstalk between neighbors. With the added wires higher speeds were able to be reached and the ATA 66MBps, 100MBps, and 133MBps standards would follow.