More external hard

By Mark Hachman  |  Posted 2004-06-08 Print this article Print

drives on tap"> This fall, Seagate will expand from its core base of desktop and server drives with a line of external hard drive solutions, more of its Momentus 2.5-inch drives, as well as the new 1-inch platform, which will also appear in a CompactFlash form factor designed for digital cameras and PDAs. Seagate also plans to ship products in five enterprise drive categories, including one model with a Serial Attached SCSI interface. The 1-inch, 3,600-RPM drive will be known as the ST1 series, and available in either 2.5- or 5GB capacities for the embedded market, as well as within the CompactFlash Type II form factor. Seagate also plans a 1-inch external USB "pocket drive", a first for the industry, which will combine the convenience of USB memory keys with the capacity of rotating media. Seagate has specifically designed the chassis and drive of the 1-inch drive to withstand the day-to-day jouncing of everyday life, Pait said, with a technology called "RunOn". The drive uses some predictive algorithms to try and predict the path of the read head over the disk media, eliminating skipping.
"If you take a hard-disk-drive-based player, like the (Apple) iPod and strap it to your arm and run with it, it really messes up the drive with the wide range of motion youre using," Pait said. "After the buffer in the (drive) empties out, thats it. Ive known people that have had to drain the battery and do a hard reset to get the drive running again."
In part because of the RunOn technology, five portable music player OEMs plan to release products based on the Seagate drives as early as the third quarter, when Seagates drive will begin shipping. Seagate also plans to ship a 3.5-inch, 7,200-RPM DB35 drive optimized for PVRs, with capacities up to 400GB. Next page: Half-terabyte drives are on the horizon.


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