Seagate ships first perpendicular 3.5" hard drive

Scotts Valley (CA) - Seagate will announce on Tuesday the industry's first 3.5" hard drive that is based on perpendicular recording technology. Targeting enterprise applications, the new Cheetah 15K.5 doubles the capacity of its predecessor and promises 30% more performance.

With the 2.5" perpendicular drive out the door, Seagate has begun transferring the new recording technology, which promises higher capacities and improved performance, into the next form factor. The new Cheetah 15K.5 is positioned as the firm's new flagship hard drive and provides enterprise users significantly more storage space and bandwidth, the manufacturer said.

Compared to the preceding non-perpendicular 15K.4 generation, which has been offered in 36 GB, 73 GB and 146 GB versions, the new 15K.5 is available with 300 GB (four platters), 147 GB (two platters) and 73 GB (one platter). The sustained data transfer rate is up about 30% from 58-96 MB/s in the 15K.4 to about 73-125 MB/s in the 15K.5. Seagate claims that the new Cheetah is the first hard drive to break the 100 MB/s data transfer barrier.

No changes are announced to the drive's reliability, which is still rated at 1.4 million Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF). Also, the platters of the enterprise drive continue to spin at 15,000 rpm; average seek time remains at 3.5-4.0 ms.

Seagate said that the 15K.5 is currently shipping to OEMs with 3 Gb/s serial attached SCSI (SAS), Ultra320 SCSI, and 4 Gb/s fibre channel interfaces. Channel shipments are scheduled for June of this year. Prices of the Cheetahs have not been announced.