Seagates Drive Plans Include 500GBs, Encryption

Seagate Technology unveils its 2005 lineup, which takes drives to the half-terabyte level and introduces a product family that encrypts data.

Seagate Technology unveiled its 2005 lineup on Wednesday, which takes drives to the half-terabyte level and introduces a product family that encrypts data.

Over the course of the year, Seagate will unveil 12 new products, executives said, incorporating the companys shift to perpendicular recording, a technique of aligning the magnetic grains within the drive to increase its storage density.

That technology will have far-reaching effects, as Seagate transitions its Barracuda desktop and external drives to a top capacity of 500GB and increases its Momentus line of 2.5-inch drives to 160GB.

A spokeswoman for Maxtor Corp. also said the company plans 500GB drives, a tactic likely to be followed by the rest of the hyper-competitive drive industry.

However, Seagates rethinking of some of its standard product categories may also see Seagate pushing into new markets.

By removing some of the ruggedizing features from its Momentus 2.5-inch line, for example, Seagate plans to introduce the LD25, a 2.5-inch drive designed for small-form-factor but relatively fixed environments, such as televisions and game consoles.

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Conversely, by improving the drives ability to withstand shock and heat, Seagate plans to ship the EE25, a series of drives specifically targeted at cars, especially in-dash GPS systems, as well as the military.

"Today, people are using storage as part of their everyday life, in PDAs, MP3 players, and PVRs," said Rob Pait, Seagates director of global consumer electronics marketing, in an interview.

"Customers are buying add-on storage for PCs and demanding more storage reliability for their PCs. Backing up today is not about saving Excel files, backing up today means preserving family memories…more and more, people are realizing that I can do anything with that storage – and if I want to, if I want more, I can buy it really easily."

Seagate, the largest disk-drive manufacturer, has seen a steady increase in demand for its notebook drives as demand for notebooks PCs has also increased. Seagate plans to deliver a formal mid-quarter update on Friday, although analysts said they believe Seagates notebook presence has been strong.

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