Seagate Exec: Sub-$200 Terabyte Storage Two Years Off

Brian Dexheimer, Seagate's executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service, told investors at the Gartner TechInvestor Summit that his company has established a strong beachhead in the notebook disk drive space in its first quarter of shipping the mobile-based drives.

"We're not done yet," Dexheimer said. "We've been around for 30 years, and this technology has great legs."

In addition to the terabyte "in your den" prediction, Dexheimer said he foresees 200-Gbyte laptop drives for less than $150 and 10-Gbyte drives for palm devices within two years, as performance increases.

"By any segment measure--enterprise, notebook or desktop--we've seen [average selling price] declines," Dexheimer said. "We were growing technology density in the late 1990s at almost two [times] what Moore's Law would be."

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Seagate, he said, was able to maintain comparatively stable average selling prices because of its product mix between enterprise systems and desktops.

In June, Seagate re-entered the notebook disk drive business after exiting in 1997.

"We spent the last five years reinvesting in technology leadership," he said. "Our re-entry into notebooks was not only from a technology leadership, but from manufacturing." In the future, he said, Seagate would attempt to target the sub-2.5-inch disk drive space, as several competitors do today.

The Scotts Valley, Calif.-based company maintains 60 percent of its sales through the solution provider channel, with the percentage to increase over time, Dexheimer said, following his formal presentation. And while the company looks forward to a brisk business in notebook drives, he said it is yet unknown how that will translate through the channel.

"It is very OEM-driven at this time," he said. "Intel and others are working to drive growth in the white-book space," but how that will develop compared to the OEM channel is not yet clear.