Seagate's terabyte platters make it the densest of the lot
Seagate has bust the terabyte platter barrier
It's done it; Seagate has achieved a 625Gbit/in2 areal density enabling it to produce 3TB Barracuda drives on just three platters instead of the current five.
It says it is on track for the channel to receive product around the middle of the year with 1TB, 1.5TB, 2TB and 3TB capacity points.
These are 3.5-inch form factor drives, and the three platter product will cost less to produce than five-platter product. We imagine its Constellation ES product will use terabyte platters too eventually by the way.
El Reg would like to point out that, if Seagate stayed with its 5-platter design, it could produce a single drive with an awesome 5TB capacity.
Seagate says its GoFlex external products will be the first to ship with drives containing the new terabyte platter technology and they will be able to hold 120 high-definition movies, 1,500 video games and, its statisticians having given up, "virtually countless hours of music".
Western Digital has a 3TB Caviar Green product using four platters with an approximate 514Gbit/in2 areal density. Hitachi GST, in the process of being bought by WD, has a 3TB Deskstar 7K3000 with a 411Gbit/in2 areal density.
The HDD industry being what it is, WD should be at the terabyte platter level in a few months. Until then Seagate's channel can say "We are the Man," and sell product as fast as Seagate can make it. ®
I've heard it said that one head actuator seeking inside an HDA would create so much vibration as to prevent any other heads from being stable enough to read or write. If you couldn't do seek and read/write concurrently, there wouldn't be very much point in multiple heads.
Reportedly, this can even be a problem between disk drives in a badly-designed multi-drive cage: if all drives are engaged in seek-intensive activity, the vibration mechanically coupled between them can degrade each other's performance. Or so the manufacturers of heavy-guage server towers with rubber drive suspension bushes claim. OTOH it might work on the same basis that wearing a paper bag over your head in the UK keeps the elephants away.
@"an awesome 5TB capacity"
So how long before we get a 5TB drive. :)
Give it a year
"El Reg would like to point out that, if Seagate stayed with its 5-platter design, it could produce a single drive with an awesome 5TB capacity."
We won't see such a drive until they push out a 4-platter 4TB drive in a few months (once other drive manufacturers can [and do] put out 4TB drives). Then they'll likely trickle a 4.5TB and perhaps the 5TB drive. Right now, they'll make enough of a premium pitching the same 3TB capacity but at slightly less cost than competitors, and make a tidy profit.
"and, its statisticians having given up, "virtually countless hours of music"."
2.88MB per 3min song (128Kb/s bitrate), and assuming 5TB and not 5TiB:
5000000 / 2.88 = 1736111 (1.7 million) songs, or * 3 (minutes) = 5208333.33~ minutes, 86805.55 hours, ~3616.9 days, or ~9.93 years worth of audio. Hence why their stat people just gave up. It's not worth listing the number of MP3s anymore.
How much space is this in Libraries of Congress?