Seagate Mobile Hard Drive Hits 160GB

Hitachi isn't the only company getting perpendicular. Seagate rolled out the first 2.5-inch hard drive on Wednesday that utilizes perpendicular recording technology. By standing bits of data on end, rather than flat on the drive's surface, Seagate has achieved 160GB of storage - the largest notebook drive to date.

The new drive is part of Seagate's Momentus line, and will initially bring a speed of 5,400-rpm. A 7,200-rpm version will follow next year. Seagate also rolled transparent hardware-based encryption into the drives to protect data in the face of rising notebook theft.

Mobile professionals are "demanding stronger, easier to use encryption solutions to protect their sensitive information," said John Buttress, IDC's research manager for hard drives. "Drive manufacturers such as Seagate that can deliver stronger security and higher capacity using technologies such as perpendicular recording will be in the sweet spot of market demand for notebooks."

Hitachi jumpstarted the push to perpendicular recording in April, announcing plans to release 1TB desktop drives and 20GB microdrives.

Drives using parallel recording can store about 100 to 120 gigabits per square inch. With the new perpendicular method, Hitachi said drives can store 230 gigabits in the same space.

Seagate said the 160GB Momentus 5400.3 will ship this winter alongside the Momentus 5400 FDE (Full Disc Encryption). Pricing for the drives has not yet been announced.

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