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FDE.2 family of notebook drives come with DriveTrust encryption

Seagate this week announced a new line of notebook hard drives that will feature DriveTrust technology, the company's name for full drive encryption. Called the Momentus FDE.2 series, the drives will feature the technology on board, meaning that no special software or other hardware piece is required. The technology is being carried to notebooks from Seagate's current family of drives called the DB35 series, which all feature DriveTrust technology. According to Seagate:

The 2.5-inch, 5,400-RPM drive's hardware-based full disc encryption delivers significantly stronger protection than traditional encryption approaches by securely performing all cryptographic operations and access control within the drive. For users, only a password is needed to self-authenticate for full drive access, while third- party enhancements enable thumbprint and smart card options for multi-factor self-authentication.

Seagate currently distributes its line of encrypted DB35 series of hard drives for manufacturers who are developing DVR products. The DB35 drives provide the content protection mechanism required to prevent users from illegally moving off recorded TV material onto a computer. Users who have FDE.2 featured notebooks can rest easily knowing that the data on the drives are entirely encrypted. Seagate however still recommends the use of regular passwords and other devices such as finger print authentication.

The new FDE.2 notebook drives will be introduced with a starting speed of 5400 RPM and Seagate expects faster drives to be out several months later. As of right now, FDE.2 drives are not yet available. Seagate noted that the drives will be introduced in the first quarter of 2007.

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Performance hit?
By Donegrim on 10/30/2006 5:27:39 PM , Rating: 2
Any word on how much of a performance hit this full drive encryption gives. I can't imagine things would move too quickly when everything going in and out of the drive is being encrypted and unencrypted.

RE: Performance hit?
By Hare on 10/30/2006 6:03:40 PM , Rating: 2
The performance hit is really small. I have a pretty strong encryption on my HD (truecrypt software) and can't really tell the difference when I'm using spreadsheets and word-documents (PM740). Copying large files is a bit slower but on a portable business laptop that shouldn't really matter.

A dedicated encryption chip will propably make the performance hit negligible.

RE: Performance hit?
By Zirconium on 10/30/2006 10:21:12 PM , Rating: 2
The bottleneck is probably the physical speed of the drive rather than the encryption.

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