Seagate Beefs Up Hard Drive to 750 GB Capacity

Seagate has unveiled a monster hard drive in its Barracuda line that packs in 750 gigabytes (GB) of photos, video, music and other digital data using perpendicular recording technology.

The California storage giant said the new Barracuda 7200.10 drive family would reach, for the first time, above the current top capacity of 500 GB while maintaining performance — thanks to the perpendicular recording design.

Intended mostly for consumers who are exposed to an ever-widening range of multimedia content, the new monster drives are a sign of things to come in personal computing.

The 750 GB drive marks the move from yesterday’s data types such as the text of regular documents and files, to today’s multimedia, high-quality video and sound, Endpoint Technologies Associates Founder and President Roger Kay told TechNewsWorld.

Home Hub

Seagate said the new, bigger Barracuda line — now shipping worldwide for a price of US$599 — is aimed at meeting the demand for more and more digital storage among consumers and organizations.

“Underscoring this trend [are] the petabytes of music, photos and movies, computer games and other digital content spawned by the proliferation of consumer electronics services and devices,” said Seagate Senior Vice President and General Manager of Personal Storage Karl Chicca.

The home PC is emerging as the “center of the digital lifestyle,” he added, and Seagate intends to stay ahead of capacity, performance and reliability needs.

Hard Core Drive

Storage technology is, in fact, managing to stay ahead of the capacity needed for content, Kay observed, noting that 750 GB is a significant amount of storage.

However, for some users who have high-resolution photos, uncompressed video and other rich multimedia content, even 750 GB can fill up fast, he added.

As for the perpendicular recording technology Seagate now delivers across its line of hard drives, Kay said the technique — which aligns data bits vertically instead of horizontally for more data density — is “part of Moore’s Law of the data storage business.”

“It’s one of many tricks needed by the industry to increase real density per square inch,” Kay said, predicting terabyte hard drives within a couple of years.

Bigger Data Sets

The need for a huge hard drive with 750 GB capacity — considered among the largest jumps in capacity ever in the data storage industry — is being driven by larger data sets and the desire to access them quickly, Gartner Research Vice President Martin Reynolds told TechNewsWorld.

“We’ll see it continue to progress, particularly as consumers record video and other high-definition content,” he said.

The perpendicular recording technology behind Seagate’s new drive will likely take hard drive capacity to the terabyte level, Reynolds said.

The technology presents another challenge to tape data storage and drives, he observed, which are currently used widely for data protection and backup among enterprises.

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