Seagate, one of the biggest names in storage, has announced a new line of hard disks. Catering for all major disk drive markets, its new range sets Seagate apart as offering the broadest product portfolio in the industry.
With digital audio players of all shapes and sizes appearing regularly, Seagate has announced the ST1 Series - the first 1in drive to offer either 2.5 or 5GB capacities.
Mini hard drives such as these are popular as they offer large capacities at a much lower cost-per-megabyte compared to flash drives. However, the moving parts can cause a problem for high impact activities such as jogging. To combat this, the ST1 Series features RunOn technology. This detects the harmonic distortion that occurs with high impacts and compensates to keep the read heads on track, increasing reliability. The drives spin at 3,600rpm and feature a 2MB buffer.
There is also a CompactFlash Photo Hard Drive available in phenomenal capacities of either 2.5GB or 5GB. This removable hard disk also uses the 1in form factor and fits any device that sports a Type II CompactFlash slot. This is an incredible amount of storage for cameras and PDA's but weâ€™d imagine that the price at launch will be wince inducingly high.
In addition to the MP3 and photography market, Seagate is releasing a new range to cater for the growing digital video entertainment industry - the DB35 Series. This family of drives will sport a number of features that will be attractive to Digital Video Recorder (DVR) manufacturers. One of these will be controls that limit power consumption on start-up. This is important for consumer electronics devices that use smaller power supplies than the PC market. Additional controls also enable the drive to lower power consumption when it detects that operating temperatures are too high, which should help to make DVRs more reliable. The drives are also optimized for silent operation, which is important for devices that are likely to be located in the lounge or bedroom.
The star of DB35 Series is the massive 400GB drive â€“ ten times the capacity of the drive available in the UK's Sky+ set-top boxes. This would enable it to record 200 hours of standard definition digital TV compared to the 20 hours currently offered. This may seem excessively large, but with BSkyBâ€™s welcome recent announcement that it will start High Definition broadcasts in the UK in 2006, it finally looks as though this sort of capacity will be needed.
Seagate will offer a DVR tool kit enabling manufacturers to custom-tune the drive for optimal streaming performance so that viewers donâ€™t suffer from skipped frames or corrupted recordings.
The disks will also be available in capacities of 250 and 300GB and can be supplied as an external unit using either FireWire or USB 2.0 connectivity.
Seagate has also updated its Pocket Hard drive range. These devices can claim to be the biggest small hard drive in the world, with up to 5GB of capacity in a 1in form factor. These external drives are powered by a USB 2.0 connection. While the ST1 series also features a 5GB drive, the Pocket Drive range is a more robust and portable solution.