Seagate extends perpendicular recording

By Ann Silverthorn

—Targeting the increased performance and capacity requirements of enterprise environments, Seagate this week introduced its latest hard drive, which is based on perpendicular recording technology. The Cheetah 15K.5 packs up to 300GB—double the capacity of its predecessor—and provides up to a 30% increase in performance.

Perpendicular recording technology does not speed access times, but it does increase capacity by stacking the bits of data perpendicular to the disk platter rather than lined up in a row as in traditional longitudinal recording. However, increasing the spindle speed allows faster access speed, as the Cheetah drives do with their 15,000rpm rotation rate.

Designed for enterprise applications (as opposed to desktops), the Cheetah 15K.5 drives feature a 125MBps sustained transfer rate. Seagate officials say that the drives are optimized for environments with random seeks, in which information needs are "on-demand."

The Cheetah 15K.5 drives are available with 3Gbps Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), Ultra320 SCSI, or 4Gbps Fibre Channel interfaces, and in 73GB, 147GB, and 300GB capacities. Seagate claims a mean-time-between-failure (MTBF) of 1.4 million hours at full duty cycle.

Cheetah 15K.5 drives are currently shipping to Seagate's OEM customers, which will integrate the drives into high-end servers and storage arrays. A launch to Seagate's distribution channel is planned for later in Q2.

The move to perpendicular recording technology is not expected to significantly affect pricing, according to Seagate officials.

Seagate first announced perpendicular recording technology on its 2.5-inch Momentus 5400.3 disk drives in January. See "Seagate goes perpendicular."

This article was originally published on April 20, 2006