SAN JOSE, Calif. Seagate Technology hit a new milestone in hard drive capacity with the announcement Thursday (July 10) of a 3.5-inch desktop PC drive packing 1.5 Tbytes. The Barracuda 7200.11 shipping in August uses four platters with 375 Gbytes per platter.
The news comes just days after rival Hitachi Global Storage Technologies rolled out a Tbyte drive using just three platters with 333 Gbytes per platter. All the drive makers are racing to squeeze the most capacity possible out of their recent shift to perpendicular recording technology.
"All the major hard drive makers will have Tbyte drives in qualification with PC makers at about the same time, but Seagate is just a little ahead of the pack," said John Rydning, a disk drive analyst at International Data Corp. "Compared to their performance in 2007, Seagate is getting a little more aggressive in packing capacity per disk," he added.
In the leapfrog game of hard drive capacity it's not clear when competitors such as Hitachi, Samsung and Western Digital will follow suit with their own 1.5 Tbyte products. "Over the past three or four years Seagate has been pretty consistently in the capacity lead, so this latest product is characteristic for them," Rydning said.
Seagate has positioned the drive at high-end desktop PCs. Rydning said it would be a logical move for Seagate to also use the drives in its retail products aimed at external consumer storage for home networks.
"A two-drive, 3 Tbyte box could do quite well," he said.
Seagate currently leads the pack of hard drive makers with a 35 percent market share followed by Western Digital at 23 percent, according to IDC. "This new drive sets Seagate up well for a strong second half of the year," he added.