Seagate brings perpendicular storage to the enterprise

Aiming to prove its credentials in the emerging field of perpendicular storage, Seagate has released its first 3.5in drives based on the technology

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

The three new drives join Seagate's existing Cheetah line of disks which, as the name suggests, are amongst the fastest in the industry for data transfer rates.

With a transfer rate of 73-125MBps, the Cheetah 15K.5 range transfers data around 30 percent faster than the Cheetah 15K.4, which does not use perpendicular technology.

The Cheetah 15K.5 will be available in three model: a 300GB capacity model with four platters; a 147GB capacity model with two platters and a 73GB capacity 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 together much closer.

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 making them quicker to access.

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