Hard Drives Bolster Storage

Seagate,Cornice, Western Digital roll out new wares.

Seagate Technology LLC, cornice inc. and Western Digital Corp. are introducing a variety of new-look hard drives designed to increase storage performance, efficiency and portability.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, Seagate added to its consumer portfolio by announcing the 160GB Portable External Hard Drive, featuring perpendicular recording, and a 500GB eSATA Pushbutton backup drive. Due next month, the new hard drive is targeted at data-intensive applications such as video editing and large volumes of data transfers, said officials of the Scotts Valley, Calif., company.

Built with capabilities designed for extended road usage, the 2.5-inch Portable External Hard Drive does not need a power cord and can carry business files, digital photos, digital music and digital videos in a box weighing less than 1 pound.

Following Seagates $1.9 billion acquisition of Maxtor Corp. last month, Seagate CEO Bill Watkins said his company will be aggressive in addressing customers storage concerns as they move their growing content onto smaller and more mobile devices.

Seagates eSATA Pushbutton backup drive, scheduled for release in April, offers data backup of as much as 3G bps for desktop systems, entry servers or digital video workstations.

Enabling smaller and thinner consumer electronics devices to be built more easily, Cornice last week unveiled its ultra-thin 8GB and 10GB Cornice Dragon series micro hard drives. The 8GB version is available now, while the larger 10GB hard drive will be released in the near future, according to officials of the Longmont, Colo., company.

The new Cornice storage offerings will allow OEMs to provide customers with consumer electronics devices such as mobile phones, personal storage devices, and audio and video players that are sleeker and higher-capacity.

The hard drives are built using Cornices Crash Guard protection, which includes a number of safety measures. For instance, an Active Latch feature enables a device to securely lock the disk drive head in place when dropped. The Crash Guard technologys Skip Control capability allows the Dragon offerings to ensure continuous playback without skipping or restarting while withstanding the most extreme conditions.

In addition, Crash Guards Drop Safe feature allows the hard drive to sense when a drop is imminent. Even if the drive is in the middle of reading or writing data to disk, it can immediately take action to place the head safely under the Active Latch for protection in time.

Western Digital last week announced its 150GB WD Raptor, which doubles the capacity of the 10,000-rpm WD Raptor Enterprise SATA (Serial ATA) hard drive.

Available now, the WD Raptor hard drive features random I/O performance with native command queuing to boost performance by designating multiple simultaneous read and write commands.

Additional server and networked storage benefits of the hard drive include its built-in RAFF (Rotary Accelerometer Feed Forward) technology and a doubled cache of 16MB to distribute and record enterprise data more quickly.

SATA hard drives are quickly gaining ground as an affordable option for customers running storage systems and server environments. According to research company Gartner Inc., of Stamford, Conn., approximately 30 percent of hard drives for multiuser applications will bear SATA technology by 2009.

New hard drives ring in the new year

* Seagate 160GB Portable External Hard Drive with perpendicular recording and 500GB eSATA Pushbutton backup drive

* Cornice Thin 8GB and 10GB Dragon series micro hard drives for OEMs

* Western Digital WD Raptor SATA hard drive doubled to 150GB capacity