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Seagate Drive Stores 30 Percent More

Seagate Technology is increasing the capacity of its 2.5-inch hard drives to 160 Gbytes using a new technique called perpendicular recording.

The new Momentus 5400.3 drive provides 30 percent more storage than previous Seagate products for notebooks without increasing its physical size, and capacities will continue to grow as the new method is perfected, said Joni Clark, a Seagate product marketing manager.

Perpendicular recording changes the magnetization of the disc to a vertical plane, so data is stood upright to increase its density on the disc. In addition, a “soft magnetic under-layer” is added to effectively double the space available to store data without significantly increasing the size of the disc. The current longitudinal method lays out data horizontally. The way to increase capacity using this technology is to pack that data closely together, which already has been done, or to add platters and increase the size, Clark said.

The performance boost from the perpendicular recording technology comes without increases in power consumption or heat generation, which is crucial in enabling remote users to work longer between battery charges and system builders to pack more performance into smaller notebooks, Clark said.

Seagate also increased the drive&'s toughness to an operational shock rating of 350G&'s, up from 250G&'s in its previous drives.

In the business market, Jennifer Shine, vice president of marketing and business development at eMazzanti Technologies, Hoboken, N.J., said business users have yet to max out current capacity levels. But she added that increased power and capability of portable systems means business users can do more on the road, and will continue to pack more data on their devices.

“When we get the extra capacity, we always find ways to use it,” Shine said. Clark said Seagate expects to release new perpendicular drives for desktops and servers later this year.

The Momentus 5400.3 is shipping now with an MSRP of $325.

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