ATA (AT Attachment) is the official ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standard name for the commonplace IDE interface, which is commonly used to connect hard-disk drives to the PC. ATAPI (ATA Packet Interface) is a protocol (similar to SCSI) for controlling storage devices, such as CD and DVD drives and tape drives. ATAPI is the most popular type of interface for CD and DVD drives because ATAPI is based on the ATA (or IDE) interface and does not need any expensive controller card or cable. Also, an ATAPI CD/ DVD can simply be connected as the second drive on the same interface on which the PC's hard drive is connected. That means that the ATAPI CD/DVD drive does not require a separate interface card.
The Linux kernel includes an ATAPI driver that should work with any ATAPI CD/DVD drive. ATAPI CD/DVD drives are available from many vendors, such as Memorex, NEC, Philips, Pioneer, Panasonic, Sony, and Toshiba. Most new PCs (such as those from Gateway and Dell) come configured with ATAPI CD-ROM drives.
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