RealTime IT News

Seagate Ships Powerful Notebook Drive

Top hard drive maker Seagate Technology said it has begun shipping the first 2.5-inch notebook PC disk drive built on the new perpendicular recording technology.

The Momentus family of drives can pipe up to 160GB of capacity to satisfy system builders looking to pack more performance in smaller notebooks.

This push stems from the increase in corporate employees who take their work with them on the go and demand greater storage capacity from the laptops they acquire from the likes of Dell, HP and others.

Momentus 5400.3
The Momentus 5400.3 160GB notebook drive.
Source: Seagate

IDC estimates that laptops with 80GB or more of disk drive capacity will grow from less than 10 percent of notebook shipments in 2004 to nearly half in 2006.

An alternative approach to longitudinal recording, perpendicular recording stands data bits on end on the disc, rather than flat to the surface. Experts in storage technology claim this approach will provide hard drives greater levels of data density and capacity.

This method also increases drive performance without increasing spin speed by allowing more bits to pass under the drive head in the same amount of time.

Perpendicular technology does this without increases in power consumption or heat generation, an important detail as computer users are working longer between battery charges.

Also, for those conscious about a dropped and damaged notebook, the Momentus drive is built to withstand a great deal of shock to protect drive data.

The Momentus 5400.3 hard drive is now shipping with the Ultra ATA 100 megabyte-per-second interface. Seagate will begin shipping Momentus 5400.3 with the 1.5 gigabit-per-second Serial ATA interface later this year.

Seagate is banking on the perpendicular approach for the long haul, promising in a statement that it will extend perpendicular recording to its 7,200-rpm Momentus disc drives and to all of its 1- and 3.5-inch products in the future.

Seagate is coming off a blockbuster bid to buy Maxtor, one of the top four vendors in the hard-disk drive market.

Already the leader, Seagate would own half the market if it succeeds in acquiring and integrating Maxtor.