IDE : Computer Hardware Buyers’ Glossary


IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics). An obsolete, quasi-standard for hard disk controllers. Because of the lack of standardisation, IDE had horrible problems mixing and matching drives even from the same manufacturer. The drive instead of the controller contained most of the smarts. This means the adapter card was very simple, sometimes just an extension to the ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) bus. IDE has been replaced by ATA/EIDE.
IDE is also used in a technical context to mean that the functions formerly performed by the disk adapter card are on the disk drive. So strictly speaking even a SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) drive is IDE.

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