The increasing functionality required in portable digital consumer appliances has driven the demand for increasing amounts of in-system storage. Given the significant improvements in form factor, capacity, reliability, and price, many applications now include hard disk drive (HDD) technology, including MP3 players, personal media players, GPS navigation systems, car entertainment systems, portable gaming, and smart phones. For example, the Philips HDD120 MP3 player/20 GB recorder uses a portable HDD, which is smaller in size, lightweight, and consumes less power.

The prevalent interface deployed on today’s HDDs is Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA), more commonly known as Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE).