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Droboman expects a 3TB drive from somewhere soon

Western Digital the likeliest suspect

For Sale sign detail

Dr Geoff Barrall, founder and CEO of Drobo gave out his opinion in London last week that there should be a 3TB drive for Drobos by April next year. He didn't name the supplier, but Drobo does use Western Digital drives, so this 3TB drive could be a black one.

Currently Western Digital offers a 2TB Caviar Black 3.5-inch SATA drive. It was announced in early September, and has four platters with 500GB per platter. That means an areal density of roughly 330Gbit/sq in.

A 3TB, 4-platter drive would need 750GB per platter - a 50 per cent increase on the Caviar Black.

Seagate has 2.5-inch Momentus drives pushing 400Gbit/sq in. Toshiba's MK6465GSX 2.5-incher offers 640GB on two platters with 528.5Gbit/sq in. These make the Caviar Black 2TB drive's 330Gbit/sq in look pedestrian. WD has a Scorpio Blue 2.5-inch drive, spinning at 5400rpm, with 640GB on its 2 platters, meaning it's got to be at Tosh levels of areal density, unless it's using significantly more of the platters' total surface.

If WD can use its 2.5-inch areal density on its 3.5-inch drives, then a jump up to the 3TB level looks achievable, with 500Gbit/sq in giving us a 750GB/platter capacity. Caviar Blacks spin at 7200rpm, so maybe we shouldn't expect the drive to use 528.5Gbit/sq in areal density but, hopefully, 500Gbit/sq in will be possible. If that is the case, we can conclude that Droboman knows what he is talking about. ®

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