Scotts Valley (CA) – A solid state disk (SSD) drive may be the sexiest mass storage device for notebooks and high-end PCs, but if it is about cheap storage the good old hard drive is still the way to go – and hard drive technology still has room to grow: Seagate today announced a new 3.5” drive that stores 500 GB on a single platter.
Just in time for CES, Seagate has begun shipments of its 12th generation 3.5” Barracuda hard drive, which continues to spin its platters at 7200 rpm. However, Seagate was able to increase the aereal storage densities of its platters, which reduces the number of disks and potentially power consumption as well.
Whereas the previous Barracuda generation used disks with a storage capacity of 320 – 375 GB, the new 7200.12 HD model increases the number to 500 GB per platter or a density of 329 Gb per square inch. That number is especially impressive if we remember than the industry believed that the natural storage density barrier would be about 100 Gb per square inch and even laser-assisted technologies would only reach to 250 Gb per square inch.
Seagate offers the new drives as 1-platter and 2-platter models providing up to 1 TB of storage, which is less than the maximum capacity of the 7200.11 drive that tops out at 1.5 TB (4 x 375 GB). At least in theory, the new platters would allow Seagate to come up with a 2 TB hard drive, which may be the case as soon as the company’s rivals are catching up with similar technology. There was no information on the power consumption of the drive, but we would expect the drive to consume less than the 4-platter 1.5 TB model and be in the range of the previous 2-platter 750 GB 7200.11 drive.
Seagate said that the new Barracudas are in production now and are offered in 500 GB, 750 GB, and 1 TB versions. The company did not disclose the suggested retail price of the drives.