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SATA HATs support up to four drives on Raspberry Pi 4 or Rock Pi 4

Dec 9, 2019 — by Eric Brown 86,063 views

Radxa’s Dual ($25) and Quad ($35) SATA HATs work on the Raspberry Pi 4 or Rock Pi 4 at up to 400 MB/s via USB 3.0. There’s also a faster, 800 MB/s $49 “Penta SATA HAT” for the Rock Pi 4 that uses PCIe to support 5x drives.

You can find a few SATA HATs for the Raspberry Pi 4 that support single SATA or mSATA connections, such as Geekworm’s $26 X825 or Renkforce’s $19 SATA Extension Board, but Radxa’s new line of SATA HATs for network attached storage (NAS) applications appear to be the first to support multiple SATA connections. Such a feat is possible on some other hacker boards such as FriendlyElec’s $25, quad-SATA 4X SATA HAT for the NanoPi M4, which like the Rock Pi 4 and similar, DP-enabled Rock Pi 4B, runs Linux on a PCIe-enabled Rockchip RK3399.

(click images to enlarge)

Radxa has opened pre-orders at $25 or $35, respectively, for the dual-SATA slot Dual SATA HAT and the Quad SATA HAT equipped with 4x SATA slots. There’s also a $49 Penta SATA HAT that works only on the Rock Pi 4 that supports five SATA drives for up to 100TB storage via a faster PCIe connection (see farther below).
All these models support 2.5- or 3.5-inch SSDs and HDDs. They all support software RAID 0/1/5 and HDD suspend mode and are available with a Debian package for SATA HAT control and monitoring.

Quad SATA HAT with 2.5-inch (left) and 3.5-inch SATA drives
(click images to enlarge)

The USB-powered Dual SATA HAT and Quad SATA HAT support up to 10TB or 20TB, respectively. In either case, there are separate models for the Raspberry Pi 4B and a model for the Rock Pi 4 that also supports the Raspberry Pi 3B or 3B+. All these models include one (dual) or two (Quad) USB 3.0 ports connected to the Pi’s USB ports via a JMicron JMS561 (PDF) USB-to-SATA bridge. They all support up to 400 MB/s throughput, although this would presumably drop when connected to the USB 2.0 equipped RPi 3B/3B+.

Quad SATA HAT detail view (top) and Penta SATA HAT
(click images to enlarge)

When used with 2.5-inch SATA drives, the Dual SATA HAT and Quad SATA HAT can be powered by a standard, >=30W USB PD/QC power adapter connected via the HATs’ USB Type C slots. For 3.5-inch drives, you will need a standard, external ATX power supply, and you’ll need a 60W unit to power four 3.5-inch drives. In either case, the PSUs can also power the Raspberry Pi.
The Dual SATA HAT and Quad SATA HAT offer UASP support in addition to HDD suspend mode. The HATs are equipped with a heatsink and LEDs, as well as PWM fan and OLED display interfaces that support an optional SATA HAT Top Board.
Top Board and Quad SATA Kit
The $8 SATA HAT Top Board, which can also be used with the Penta model, sits on top of the stacked SATA drives to cool them with a fan. There’s also an OLED display to show IP addresses and other details, plus an on/off button for the entire rig that can be customized for other uses. The board is connected via a ribbon cable.

SATA HAT Top Board (left) and Quad SATA Kit
(click images to enlarge)

Radxa also offers an $99 enclosure kit equipped with the Quad SATA HAT that works only with 2.5-inch drives and only with the Raspberry Pi 4. The metal-built Quad SATA Kit includes the Top Board and a separate heat sink and fan for a (bring-your-own) RPi 4.
Penta HAT
The Penta SATA HAT for the Rock Pi 4 achieves up to 803 MB/s read/write performance (when only four of the five slots are used) thanks to its dual 5bps (10Gbps) PCIe 2.1 connections enabled via an M.2 slot. The device uses a Jmicron JMB585 PCIe/SATA bridge controller. The SSDs are configured in RAID0 mode.

Penta SATA HAT in action (left) and with eSATA cable to external 3.5-inch drive
(click images to enlarge)

Four of the Penta slots are configured for SATA while the fifth supports eSATA with power. The eSATA interface “makes the setup more flexible for the use of external disks,” says Radxa. With the help of an optional $5 eSATA-to-SATA cable, you can hook up an external 3.5-inch drive.
The Penta’s USB Type-C PD port can power both a 2.5-inch drive and the Rock Pi 4. There’s also support for hooking up an external standard ATX supply for an external 3.5-inch drive.
Further information
The Dual SATA HAT and Quad SATA HAT are on pre-order at Allnet China for $25 and $35, respectively, along with an optional $8 Top Board with fan and OLED display. The Quad SATA Kit enclosure costs $99 and the Penta SATA HAT sells for $49. No ship date was mentioned. More information may be found in Radxa’s SATA HAT announcement and on the Allnet China SATA HAT page.

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12 responses to “SATA HATs support up to four drives on Raspberry Pi 4 or Rock Pi 4”

  1. Peter van Heerebeek says:

    The SATA HAT can only handle harddisks upto 12mm height (2TB), the new 14mm 4TB drives will not fit.

  2. yumri4 says:

    ok but can it read a 4TB drive?
    i only need it to be able to read them not hold them

  3. Florian says:

    where can i buy the SATA HAT in allnetchine it is sold out every time

  4. Mark Weedon says:

    Hey Folks,
    Will this HAT report to OpenMediaVault as a USB device (since everything from the external comms chip is USB)? Since OMV won’t allow RAID on USB devices I wouldn’t then be able to RAID disks attached to this HAT???

  5. Peter van Heerebeek says:

    Mark, OMV will not create a RAID when running on a raspberry Pi however, if you create a raid in command mode, OMV recognises and will use that raid. Disadvantage is you will not be able to see disk diagnostics in OMV.

  6. spuwho says:

    Recommended not to run RAID on this due to the use of the JMicron USB-SATA bridge chip which does not pass all the drive status info, this can cause your RAID to break unexpectedly. Allnet is looking to replace this bridge chip with a different model in the future to facilitate RAID over USB better.

  7. Arthur Mak says:

    Got a Raspberry Pi4B and 4 SATA harddisk of 4T (two) and 8T (two), which HAT is best.

  8. Tony says:

    Does the hat have to be attached? I want to run the ice tower cooler on the cpu, and this hat interferes. I know id need to figure out a usb cable replacement, is that the only issue if I mounted it to the side?

  9. Markus says:

    Can the Raspberry Pi with the help of this sata hat connect to and use a CD/DVD-Rom/Writer?

  10. Alias says:

    Very promising project! Although, as far I can see, both SATA hats is sold out everywhere. Any indication on when it will be available for purchase again?

  11. Eben Steben says:

    while the pi might be able to access a sata cd/dvd thru this hat, its much easier to just plug in a usb cd/dvd. they are cheap and plentiful and easy to swap out.

  12. Omkar Prayag says:

    Can I use this hat with USB Hub for connecting 24 or more HDDs to raspberry pi? if Yes plz recommend compaitable USB hub?

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