Seagate introduces 15K rpm 2.5" hard drive

Scotts Valley (CA) - Seagate claims to have developed the world's fastest hard drive: The new Savvio 15K expands the existing 2.5" SAS enterprise hard drive series with two 15,000 rpm models. According to Seagate, the drive will not only increase the storage performance in rackserver environments but provide greater power efficiency and reliability as well.

The Savvio 15K is positioned as a performance-focused drive for mission-critical and mainstream applications right above the 2.5" Savvio 10K drives. Seagate believes that the 2.5" form factor, which is also used in most notebooks and many portable hard drive models, will make inroads in dense server environments and ultimately replace 3.5" drives such as the firm's current Cheetah 15K.5 models.

Bothe the Savvio 10K and 15K drives are built on perpendicular magnetic recording technology (PMR), but while the 10K version is available with 73 and 146 GB, the higher platter rpm speed of the 15K drive limits the drive's capacity to 36 and 73 GB.

Compared to the 3.5" Cheetah 15K.4 drives (36/73/146 GB), the 2.5" models are about 70% smaller and can be built into denser rackserver environments and offer improved airflow within a system at the same time. Seagate claims that the 2.5" drives consume 25% less power than their 3.5" counterparts. In terms of performance, the new drives offer a 10% faster seek time; the 15k rotation speed results 40% faster sustained data transfer rates, Seagate promises. Reliability is rated at 1.6 million hours Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF), which compares to 1.4 million hours MTBF of the Cheetah 15K.5.

According to Seagate, about 23 million 3.5" (10K/15K) enterprise drives shipped during the calendar year 2006; the company estimates that this number will decrease to about 15 million in 2007, with 2.5" drives profiting from this decline: About four million 2.5" enterprise drives were sold in 2006, while 2007 demand is estimated to grow to more than 14 million units. By 2009, the 2.5" market will have reached about 25 million units and the 3.5" segment will have decreased to less than 10 million drives, Seagate predicts.

The company declined to comment on the price of its Savvio drives, but told TG Daily that it charges a premium for its new 15K models.