Seagate goes perpendicular with 3.5-inch drives

Summary:Seagate has announced its first 3.5-inch disk drives using perpendicular storage technology, which it hopes will break through the storage limitations that are beginning to impact hard-drive technology.

Seagate has announced its first 3.5-inch disk drives using perpendicular storage technology, which it hopes will break through the storage limitations that are beginning to impact hard-drive technology.

The three new drives join Seagate's existing Cheetah line of disks, which are among the fastest in the industry for data transfer rates. They are expected to be available in Australia in the fourth quarter this year, a spokesperson said.

With a transfer rate of 73mbps to 125mbps, the Cheetah 15K.5 transfers data about 30 percent faster than the Cheetah 15K.4, which does not use perpendicular technology.

The Cheetah 15K.5 will be available in three models, each offering a different storage capacity: a 300GB model with four platters; a 147GB model with two platters and a 73GB model with a single platter.

Seagate has been working for some time on perpendicular technology as a way of getting more capacity in a smaller space. Most hard-disk storage technologies will store data in a longitudinal fashion on the disk.

In these circumstances, the capacity of the disk is limited by how close together the bits can be, and most manufacturers (such as Seagate and IBM) have been warning for some time that the laws of physics dictate that disk drives cannot pack linear bits more closely together.

Perpendicular technology arranges the bits so that they are perpendicular to the plane of the disk -- the pluses and minuses are arranged with a plus or minus on top and its opposite below, instead of across the plane of the disk.

The result is that the bits are stacked more closely together, increasing density and allowing them to be accessed more quickly.

Seagate already claims to be the leader in the "perpendicular revolution" with its Momentus 2.5-inch drives, which began shipping to resellers last month. Momentus drives have a range of spin speeds, from 4,200 revolutions per minute to 7,200rpm, and capacities from 30GB to 160GB. Seagate also launched a 1-inch drive using perpendicular technology at the 3GSM World Congress wireless showcase in February.

Colin Barker of ZDNet UK reported from London. For more coverage from ZDNet UK, click here.

Topics: Storage, Emerging Tech, Hardware

About

Colin has been a computer journalist for some 30 years having started in the business the same year that the IBM PC was launched, although the first piece he wrote was about computer audit. He was at one time editor of Computing magazine in London and prior to that held a number of editing jobs, including time spent at the late DEC Compu... Full Bio

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