3TB. It's a milestone that we all knew would be reached at some point, but the same probably could not be said in 1980. Decades ago, the original LBA (logical block addressing) standard was developed, which isn't capable of assigning addresses to capacities in excess of 2.1TB. No one would ever use that much space, anyway. Right? Wrong. But now that the world needs 3TB+ drives, Seagate is ready to make the required adjustments to bring it to life.
According to a new report at Thinq, Seagate
has confirmed to them that the company will be "announcing a 3TB drive later this year." That's great news for consumers for a couple of reasons. One, a 3TB unit will be available, which will be 50% larger than the biggest single HDD
now (2TB). Second, it will drive down prices of 2TB and 1TB HDDs
, making it cheaper to craft a new RAID box with "old" 2TB drives.
But the shift to 3TB won't come easy, and it's going to take the support of a lot of companies not named Seagate to make it happen. For starters, you'll need updated drivers and BIOSes to make use of all three terabytes, and you'll need equipment capable of understanding Long LBA Addressing. Seagate says that Windows XP won't be able to see the drive (or if it does, only a small portion of it), and only the 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows Vista will be eligible to see it. Talk about forced upgrades, but then again, only a small sector will need a 3TB hard drive, and that sector is probably already using the 64-bit version of Windows 7.
No pricing details are being talked about yet (nor details on spindle speed), but we could see the first HDD to break the 2TB barrier on sale before 2010 ends. Exciting times, folks.