Seagate Ships 160-GB Drive for Notebooks

Mobile PCs are becoming more competitive with their desktop cousins, thanks to larger hard-drive capacities. New perpendicular recording technology has allowedSeagate to sink a 160-GB drive, dubbed “Momentus,” into the notebook form factor.

Seagate’s 2.5-inch disc drive is closing the performance gap between desktops and notebook PCs, the company said.

The boosted storage capacity is key to maintaining PC performance in models that are meant to roam, according to Gartner vice president Martin Reynolds.

“There’s definitely a need for more storage as people carry more and more on their notebooks,” but the tradeoff can sometimes be the speed at which the drive performs, he said.

Perpendicular Laptop

Seagate, which is now shipping the Momentus family to manufacturers, touted the notebook drives’ foundation in new perpendicular recording, which stands data bits on end on the disc, as opposed to laying them flat, which is the way most existing drive recording is accomplished.

The technology will allow new levels of hard-drive data density along with boosted capacity, Reynolds said.

“Seagate is helping system builders meet growing demand for notebook PCs with desktop capabilities by delivering 2.5-inch disc drives that provide some of the industry’s highest levels of power efficiency, ruggedness, performance and capacity,” offered Karl Chicca, Seagate senior vice president and general manager of personal storage.

Notch for Notebooks

The new hard drives, and particularly the perpendicular recording technology, are important in that they allow notebooks to reach performance similar to what desktop PCs are capable of.

“This is going to keep us rolling for several more years before they have to do something different,” Reynolds told TechNewsWorld.

Despite the hype around flash memory, it has limited storage capabilities, he said. “Hard-drive storage like [Momentus] is going to be needed — if you want it to be high-density storage, you’re going to need a hard drive.”

Small Footprint

The new notebook drive technology is also significant in that it maintains a 2.5-inch footprint while boosting the amount of bits it can store, explained Endpoint Technologies Associates founder and president Roger Kay.

“Now the drive guys can say they can deliver a lot more storage per buck in small sizes,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Except for fans of the modular desktop form factor, other system builders and hard-core gamers, all other PC users are likely to end up using notebooks over the next couple of years, Kay predicted.

“Mobility is a big plus,” he said.

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