The folks behind the Serial ATA standard have been working on drafting a new, faster spec for a little while now, but it looks like things are finally starting to firm up, and SATA-IO marketing chair Conrad Maxwell now says that the new 6Gb/s standard is on track for release in the second quarter of this year. That, as you're no doubt aware, is twice as fast as the current spec and, according to Maxwell, it'll be backwards compatible with both the SATA-1.5Gb/s and SATA-3Gb/s specs. What's more, it's apparently also the group's intention to double the E-SATA spec to 6Gb/s as well, although no one seems to be making any promises on a date for that just yet. As a bit of a bonus, the group will apparently also be rolling out a new Power over ESATA spec (or ESATAp), which will allow 5 or 12 volts of power to be delivered via an ESATA connector.