Western Digital announced a SATA-equipped version of its special-Caviar SE drive on Wednesday, complete with safeguards to protect the SATA connector and allow different sources of power to be used.
The 7,200-RPM Caviar SE will ship later this month at capacity points of 250 Gbytes and 120 Gbytes. WDs pricing for both capacities will be an estimated $399 and $199, respectively, according to a company spokeswoman.
Although parallel-ATA drives still dominate the market, companies like Western Digital and others are refining the drives, hammering out any kinks which first-generation drives contained. The Serial ATA-based Caviar SE drive ships with a technology which WD has dubbed "SecureConnect", a connector rated at 500 percent the strength of the first-generation SATA connectors. Some first-generation SATA drives were released with connectors that had a tendency to break.
WD has also added a technology called "FlexPower", or the ability to power the drive using a traditional EIDE power connector or the special SATA connectors which are shipping with the latest motherboards.
"Western Digital set out to improve the current 7,200 RPM SATA hard drives on the market today and we have done so with the innovation of SecureConnect," stated Richard E. Rutledge, Western Digitals vice president of marketing, in a statement.
"Living up to the Special Edition name, our new WD Caviar 7,200 RPM SATA drive features cutting-edge improvements that translate into end user benefits," Rutledge continued. "With SecureConnect technology we aim to virtually eliminate the problem of SATA connector breakage. We have migrated our SecureConnect and FlexPower technologies from our high-end WD Raptor enterprise hard drive to our WD Caviar SE SATA line, and achieved compatibility with currently shipping power supplies so that our customers have one less thing to worry about when building or upgrading their storage systems."
In related news, Maxtor announced that it was actually shipping its own 80- and 120-Gbyte SATA-equipped drives to selected retailers. Higher-capacity 200- and 250-Gbyte drives will hit store shelves in mid-June, the company said.
Maxtors drives also include the option to power the drive using either a SATA or EIDE power connector. According to a company spokeswoman, the 80-Gbyte drive will be available for a suggested price of $139.95, while the 120-Gbyte and 200-Gbyte drives will be priced at $179.95 and $329.95, respectively. Pricing on the 250-Gbyte model has yet to be determined, the Maxtor spokeswoman said.