Seagate Hits 160G For Notebooks

Hard drive manufacturer Seagate Technology plans to ship the first notebook drives using perpendicular recording technology, officials said Wednesday.

Perpendicular recording supplants the industry-standard longitudinal recording method used in the hard drive industry.

Where longitudinal recording aligns data bits parallel to the surface of the disk, perpendicular recording aligns the bits vertically, allowing manufacturers to pack more bits per square inch on a platter .

Officials say the entire industry will need to transition to this new technology in order to keep up with the leaps in storage capacity it offers.

The Momentus 5400.3 will be the first hard drive using the technology, a 2.5-inch drive used in notebooks that packs 160 GB of information, 25 percent more capacity than the largest notebook drive out today, the company said.

“Seagate’s unique, unflagging ability to meet the demands of both the consumer electronics and traditional computing markets is why we are the industry’s leading seller of hard drives and why some of the biggest brands in the world partner with Seagate,” Bill Watkins, Seagate president and CEO, said in a statement.

Seagate is one of several hard disk manufacturers moving towards perpendicular recording.

In April, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies announced the company was conducting field tests of a 2.5-inch hard drive in its Hitachi Travelstar line of notebook drives using perpendicular recording. The company said at the time it expected to start shipping the drives by the end of the year.

Toshiba and Fujitsu also have plans of their own with perpendicular drives.

Seagate announced the upcoming launch to a variety of other hard drives Thursday.

The Momentus FDE, a notebook drive that can be entirely encrypted, not just the files and folders found in the drive. The notebook drive will also be available this winter.

This summer Seagate is launching two 500 GB-sized drives. The first is in its DB35 series and is designed for DVRs and home entertainment systems. The drive can store up to 500 hours of TV fare, or 85 hours of HDTV content and play up to 10 simultaneous TV streams. The second drive is in the company’s popular Barracuda line, the 7200.9, with a 3 gigabit per second SATA interface and 16 MB of cache.

Also shipping this summer is a 120 GB portable external hard drive with a FireWire interface.

In the fall, Seagate will ship a 500 GB external hard drive as well as a hard drive designed for use in cars, the EE25 series.

Two new products have already been shipped to select OEM vendors: the ST1 series, a 8 GB, 1-inch hard drive for handhelds; and the LD25 series for game consoles.

“Seagate remains the recognized leader of the hard drive industry, with strength in both technology and product portfolio,” John Buttress, IDC research manager for hard drives, said in a statement. “By every key metric — capacity, speed and reliability — Seagate’s new hard drives rank among the best the industry has to offer.”

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