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Seagate today pledged to be the first hard disk maker to bring to market 2.5in HDDs with perpendicular recording technology, drives with hardwired data encryption and the first 1in unit to deliver 8GB of storage capacity.

The 1in HDD will be pitched at hand-held devices like PDAs, MP3 players and phones. The 8GB unit will be offered to OEMs and is part of Seagate's ST1 line-up, while a CompactFlash model, the 8GB Photo Hard Drive, will ship through retail, Seagate said. The 8GB ST1 is shipping now "in limited quantities... to select customers", Seagate added.

The perpendicular recording technique, in which the magnetic domains are angled at 90 degrees to the disk surface rather than across it, is being pursued by a number of hard drive makers. The advantage is much greater data storage densities. Seagate said it will implement the technology in a 2.5in notebook drive running at 5400rpm but offering a capacity of 160GB, well beyond today's highest-capacity laptop-oriented units. In 2006, Seagate will ship a 7200rpm model, the 7200.1.

The first drive will ship as the Momentus 5400.3 later this year, in Q4. Seagate will also ship the Momentus 5400 FDE in the same timeframe. FDE stands for 'Full Disc Encryption', with the user's key encoding every bit of information written to the drive.

For desktops, Seagate said it will ship the Barracuda 7200.9 in the Autumn. The 3GBps Serial ATA II unit will offer 500GB of storage capacity, a 16MB cache and native command queuing (NCQ) support. Seagate will also begin offering 3Gbps SATA across all Barracuda drives, from 40GB to 400GB capacities. The company also said it would ship a 500GB drive for PVRs, the DB35, this coming Summer.

When the 7200.9 ships, Seagate will roll out a 500GB external HDD, equipping the unit with an 800Mbps Firewire connector. It also said it will offer a 120GB Portable External Hard Drive, shipping in the Summer, which will provide 400Mbps Firewire connectivity alongside the more commonplace USB 2.0. Weighing less than 300g, the drive sports a shock-absorbing aluminium enclosure and bundles BounceBack Express back-up software.

Seagate also announced today it will ship what it claims is the world's first hard drive designed to withstand the extreme conditions imposed upon it by installation in a car. When it ships in the Autumn, the 2.5in EE25 will be pitched at auto manufacturers and designers of in-car systems as rugged storage for entertainment and navigation data.

Seagate also rolled out the 2.5in LD25 series, aiming the range at games consoles and small form-factor living-room PCs. The drives are already shipping, again to "select" customers. ®

Related stories

WD ships 300MBps SATA II drive
Hitachi ships 'world fastest' 100GB notebook HDD
Cornice to stop making 1-2GB 1in HDDs
Seagate unveils 120GB notebook HDD
Seagate promises perpendicular drives
Hitachi headstand sets new HD density record

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