Seagate Debuts Drive with 1TB Per Platter

Posted on May 05, 2011 By Stuart J. Johnston

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Hot on the heels of Seagate's announcement last month that it will buy Samsung's hard-disk drive (HDD) business, the company unveiled what it claims is the first 3.5-inch drive that provides 1 TB of data storage per platter.

Meanwhile, a new research report says the pending purchase of Samsung's HDD business by Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) will help to preserve the status quo overall for the industry, at least among the biggest players.

Seagate said its GoFlex Desk line will be the first to implement the new high-density drive, which will support storage capacities of as much as 3 TB and an "areal density" of 625 GB per square inch.

In a statement, officials for Scotts Valley, Calif.-based Seagate said they are on track to deliver the company's Barracuda desktop hard drive with 3 TB of storage on three platters, and will also deliver the drive in 1 TB, 1.5 TB, and 2 TB configurations as well.

In mid-April, memory chip and LCD screen manufacturer Samsung announced it is selling off its declining HDD business to Seagate for approximately $1.375 billion.

"[The deal] will considerably boost the newly merged entity's overall standing, with combined shipments accounting for two-fifths of an HDD market worth 652.4 million units in 2010, according to research released Tuesday by IHS iSuppli.

IHS noted that, while the Samsung deal will give Seagate some 40 percent of the market for HDDs, Western Digital (NYSE: WDC) also recently announced it is acquiring Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. That purchase will keep WD firmly in the number one slot in market share leadership, IHS's research said.

"Western Digital's shipments of 203.7 million units, together with Hitachi's 115.8 million, coalesced to produce total 2010 shipments of 319.5 million, putting owner Western Digital at No. 1 in the HDD space with 50 percent market share," the statement continued.

The moves come at a time when demand for HDDs in some markets is falling off, driven by the growing popularity of solid state drives (SSD) as storage, particularly in mobile devices like phones and tablet computers.

However, at the same time, drive densities for HDDs continue to grow at a breakneck pace.

For instance, Friday, mid-market storage vendor Nexsan announced it is shipping enterprise-class 3 TB SATA drives for its Nexsan E-Series storage system suite.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.


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