On Tuesday Seagate said that it's now shipping the industry's thinnest 2 TB hard drive for notebooks, the Spinpoint M9T, measuring just 9.5 mm thick. The drive is manufactured in China under the company's Samsung hard disk drive (HDD) division, reportedly sporting the highest platter density of any 2.5 inch hard drive to date, with 667 GB of capacity per platter.
"The M9T combines the highest areal density shipping in a single storage device with an innovative design that fits into mainstream notebook applications. While other 2TB solutions on the market are 15 mm thick, the vast majority of mobile devices are designed to use a 9.5 mm drive; with the M9T, those devices can now have 2TB of storage, enabling a richer computing experience," said Dave Frankovich, senior product line manager, Samsung HDD.
For the uninitiated, Seagate bought Samsung Electronics' hard drive business back in December 2011, gaining "select elements" including Samsung's M8 product line of high-capacity, 2.5-inch HDDs, the employees and infrastructure. At the time, N.Y. Park, senior vice president and general manager, would oversee Seagate's product development activities in Korea and serve as country manager of the Korea design center, reporting to Bob Whitmore, Seagate's executive vice president and CTO.
"Seagate is supplying disk drives to Samsung for PCs, notebooks and consumer electronics devices," Seagate's press release stated in 2011. "Samsung is supplying its market-leading semiconductor products for use in Seagate's enterprise solid state drives (SSDs), solid-state hybrid drives and other products. The companies have also extended and enhanced their existing patent cross-license agreement and have expanded cooperation to co-develop enterprise storage solutions."
Although there are 2 TB notebook drives already on the market, these measure either 12.5 mm or 15 mm in thickness. Frankovich told Computerworld that the industry has built three- and four-platter drives before, but typically a three-disk drive would be in a 12.5 mm thickness and a four-disk drive would be in a 15 mm thickness.
"So they kind of got relegated to external drives at that thickness. This is really the first time you're seeing this capacity in the mainstream 9 mm form factor," he said. Frankovich also added that Seagate was able to increase its platter areal density by creating a dual-stage actuator head. One head is used for read and writes, and the other is for keeping the actuator arm secure and in place.
The Spinpoint M9T will also arrive in a 1.5 TB flavor, and both will pack microactuation, a SATA 3 interface for speeds up to 6 Gbps, along with NoiseGuard and SilentSeek technologies to deliver ultra-quiet operation. The drives also use 2.3 watts of power during read/write operations, and 0.7 watts while idling.
The Spinpoint M9T hard drive is currently available in the Samsung Portable product line, which includes the M3 Portable and P3 Portable external drives, as well as with select partners. Pricing is not available, as this drive is sold directly to equipment manufacturers.