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Seagate spins 100GB platter

Seagate Technology, pushing the data-density envelope in the disk-drive industry, announces a product that squeezes 100GB onto a single 3.5-inch platter.

Seagate Technology on Tuesday said it has pushed the data-density envelope in the disk-drive industry, announcing a product that squeezes 100GB onto a single 3.5-inch platter.

Today's highest-density hard disk drives pack 80GB onto a 3.5-inch platter, the part of a drive that rotates and contains data. Although Seagate's news can be seen as a step forward for the disk-drive industry, it also reflects a slowdown in the pace of data density advances. For several years beginning in the late nineties, density doubled annually. Drives with 80GB per platter shipped late last year, so this new advance demonstrates the slower growth in data density.

Seagate's new product is part of its Barracuda 7200.7 family of drives. The drive has two platters, for a total capacity of 200GB. It can use the more-traditional parallel ATA interface or the newer serial ATA interface (SATA).

Seagate said the Barracuda 7200.7 is the industry's first hard-drive family capable of supporting SATA Native Command Queuing. This is a feature that allows a SATA hard drive to reorder outstanding commands before reading or writing data, improving the performance of queued workloads, according to Seagate.

Seagate said it would demonstrate the queuing technology on its new 200GB Barracuda 7200.7 SATA hard drive on Tuesday at the Intel Developer Forum in San Jose, Calif.

The queuing technology isn't generally available on Seagate products yet. Seagate said it would be installed on Barracuda 7200.7 SATA hard drives for shipment when computer designs that support the technology become more broadly available.

Seagate said the new 200GB drives are ideal for products such as network-attached storage devices, entry-level ATA servers, mainstream and high-performance PCs and home-entertainment PCs. The 200GB drive with a parallel ATA interface is slated to ship worldwide next month through distributors, while shipments of the 200GB SATA version are scheduled to begin in November.