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Seagate brings Perpendicular Magnetic Recording to the enterprise domain

Seagate Technology has begun shipments of its first ever 3.5-inch drives utilizing the Perpendicular Magnetic Recording method. Seagate's announcement came earlier today with the introduction of the Cheetah 15K.5 enterprise class hard drives which feature a 15,000RPM spindle speed and capacities of 73GB, 146GB and 300GB.

The platter density has been doubled compared to the 15K.4 line of drives effectively reducing the number of platters and heads by 50%. The 300GB model will feature a 4-platter design using 8 heads, the 146GB model will use 2 platters with 4 heads and the 73GB drive will utilize a single platter with 2 heads. All three models will come in Fibre-Channel, Ultra320 SCSI, and Serial Attached Storage interfaces at 400MB/sec, 320MB/sec, and 300MB/sec respectively. They will feature a low 2ms latency and a 3.5ms average seek time which matches the older 15K.4 line.

What has changed is the performance with a great increase in transfer rates over the 15K.4 line. The sustained transfer rates have increased an average of 15-29MB/sec across all models with the help of the perpendicular nature of the bits as well as the increased 16MB drive buffers.

Power consumption has also dropped by up to 2 watts in some models; mainly the Serial Attached Storage versions of the Cheetah 15K.5.

The Cheetah 15K.5 has begun shipping to OEM customers, according to the press release, and is expected to distribution channels later this quarter. Seagate first introduced Perpendicular Magnetic Recording in its Momentus 5400.3 series of notebook drives in mid-January which brought 160GB of capacity in a 2.5-inch form factor. Speaking with our contact at Seagate, they had mentioned that we should see desktop drives utilizing the PMR method hit the market by this summer.



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RE: Any ideas on pricing of SAS Drives
By hmurchison on 4/18/2006 3:57:45 PM , Rating: 3
Current U320 Seagate 300GB drives are around the $800-900 range. I don't expect these drives to be significantly cheaper from the onset but after some time I do expect them to come down in price now that half the platter and heads are required. This is most excellent news.

The bump in throughput (15-29MBps) should put the new Cheetah on top of the performance heap until Hitachi and others match the perpendicular areal density capabilities.

I'd love to have a workstation with 4 10k SFF drives in a RAID 5 or 6. Power consumption would be minimal as well as space but i'd have a bunch of IOPS available.


By hstewarth on 4/18/2006 4:40:34 PM , Rating: 1
I would expect ( hope ) to get 2 76G drives for under $500 which could run in Raid 0 for OS's ( Windows XP and Vista ).

I like SAS especially what is on document on Supermicro site - the fact that controller can share both SAS and SATA II drives. SAS for speed and SATA II for storage needs.

I think the designed of SAS drives will also lead to lower prices. Yes its good news about the platter and heads. Should be at least twice the space for same cost as before.


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