Seagate Ships Vertical Hard Drives…

    January 16, 2006

Scotts Valley, California-based Seagate Technology shipped their latest tiny, high-powered offering in the form of the Momentus. The new drive touts Seagate’s perpendicular recording system. This takes the notebook drive capacity to 160 gigabytes, up from the 120 gigs.

This new method of storing information as opposed to the age-old horizontal method will be the trend of the future, as more and more storage space is needed. Momentus 5400.3 (PDF), a 5,400-rpm drive that operates with 4,200-rpm power efficiency to extend battery life, is Seagate’s first to bring the higher capacities and performance of perpendicular recording to mainstream notebook PCs.

With Momentus 5400.3, Seagate once again leads the industry in areal density, delivering 132 Gbits per square inch to provide the highest levels of drive capacity, reliability and performance. Seagate will also extend the advantages of perpendicular recording to its 7,200-rpm Momentus disc drives and to all of its 1- and 3.5-inch products.

“Seagate is helping system builders meet growing demand for notebook PCs with desktop capabilities by delivering 2.5-inch disc drives that provide some of the industry’s highest levels of power efficiency, ruggedness, performance and capacity,” said Karl Chicca, Seagate senior vice president and general manager, Personal Storage. “Our transition to perpendicular technology increases our ability to meet the needs of our growing customer base.”

“The trend is clear: the number of notebook PC users is growing, and they demand higher capacity disk drives,” said John Rydning, IDC’s research manager for hard disk drives. “IDC estimates that Notebook PCs with 80GB or more of disk drive capacity will grow from less than 10% of notebook shipments in 2004 to nearly 50% in 2006, providing opportunities for high-capacity mobile drives such as Seagate’s new Momentus 5400.3.”

Perpendicular recording stands data bits on end on the disc, rather than flat to the surface as with existing longitudinal recording, to deliver new levels of hard drive data density and capacity. The new data orientation also increases drive performance without increasing spin speed by allowing more bits to pass under the drive head in the same amount of time.

The perpendicular recording performance boost comes without increases in power consumption or heat generation — crucial as remote users look to work longer between battery charges and system builders seek to pack more performance in smaller notebooks. Perpendicular recording also improves drive reliability by enhancing data resistance to thermal decay.

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John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.