Seagate announced three new consumer-level hard drives today, which it claims are the "industry's first 1.5-terabyte desktop and half-terabyte notebook hard drives." The company claims that it is able to greatly increase the areal density of its drive substrates by utilizing perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology. Wikipedia states that PMR is "capable of delivering more than triple the storage density of traditional longitudinal recording."
Seagate's latest desktop-class hard drive, the Barracuda 7200.11, will be available in a 1.5TB capacity starting in August. The 3.5-inch drive is made up of four 375GB platters and has a 7,200-rpm rotational speed. It has a 3Gb/second SATA interface, or 1.5Gb/second using Native Command Queuing (NCQ). Seagate also claims that the new 1.5TB drive supports a sustained data rate of up to 120MB/second. This represents a slight improvement in performance over the existing drives in Seagate's Barracuda 7200.11 series, which have stated sustained data rates between 105 and 115MB/second--with the 1TB Barracuda 7200.11 on the slow end of that scale at 105MB/second. While many of the existing drives in the 7200.11 series have both 16MB and 32MB cache versions, the 1.5TB will likely only be available with a 32MB cache--similar to its 1TB sibling. Pricing has yet be announced.
For the moment, Hitachi and Western Digital's highest-capacity desktop hard drives top out at 1TB--the Hitachi Ultrastor AK71000 and the Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS--both of which share similar specs with the Barracuda 7200.11 series (other than Seagate's 1.5TB capacity, of course).
Seagate also announced today two new 500GB notebook hard drives, the Momentus 5400.6 and Momentus 7200.4. As its name implies, the 5400.6 spins at 5,400-rpm, and it includes an 8MB cache. The 7200.4 spins at 7,200-rpm and has a 16MB cache. Both drives use 3Gb/second SATA interfaces. Seagate also claims that both drives are reasonably vibration-resistant and are low on power consumption:
"Both Momentus drives are built tough enough to withstand up to 1,000 Gs of non-operating shock and 350 Gs of operating shock to protect drive data, making the drives ideal for systems that are subject to rough handling or high levels of vibration. For added robustness in mobile environments, the Momentus 5400.6 and 7200.4 are offered with G-Force Protection, a free-fall sensor technology that helps prevent drive damage and data loss upon impact if a laptop PC is dropped. The sensor works by detecting any changes in acceleration equal to the force of gravity and parks the heads off the disc to prevent contact with the platter in a free fall of as little as 8 inches and within 3/10ths of a second.
Seagate's new Momentus drives are lean on power consumption, allowing notebook users to work longer between battery charges, and are virtually inaudible thanks to Seagate’s innovative SoftSonic fluid-dynamic bearing motors and QuietStep ramp load technology."
Despite Seagate's claims, the new 500GB Momentus are not the first "half-terabyte notebook hard drives." Not only have Hitachi and Fujistu already announced their 500GB, 2.5-inch hard drives earlier this year, but Samsung's 500GB, 2.5-inch, Sprintpoint M6 (model HM500LI) has been shipping since March. Oh well, you can't blame Seagate for trying. Both of their 2.5-inch, Momentus drives are expected to start shipping sometime in the fourth quarter of this year, and pricing has not be set yet.