Seagate has admitted it will stop building Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA) disk drives, due to waning popularity compared to speedier Serial ATA drives.

According to a Seagate spokesman, the company plans to continue to offer PATA drives, often referred to as integrated device electronics (IDE) drives, until late this year or early next year.

Seagate's move away from the ageing PATA standard has been in the works for some time, the spokesman said. The hard drive manufacturer's engineers stopped work on new projects late last year, he noted.

PATA, developed more than 20 years ago, has been in desktop PCs for over 15 years. It is less widely used in notebooks, consumer electronics and servers. SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment), which offers a significant performance boost over the older technology, has in most cases displaced PATA as the hard drive interface of choice for increasingly complex storage demands.

SATA drives can zip along at speeds of 150MB/s and 300MB/s, compared with the transfer rates of up to 100MB/s for PATA drives.