Seagate sails past 15-million milestone in PMR shipments

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Scotts Valley (CA) - Seagate claims to be the first hard drive manufacturer to have shipped more than 15 million hard drives that are using perpendicular magnetic recording technology (PMR).

PMR shipments began in December with a 160 GB 2.5" drive for notebooks and have reached, according to the company, more than 16 million by the end of January 2007. According to the firm's most recent quarter report, more than 10 million PMR drives were shipped in the Christmas quarter alone.

Seagate has introduced PMR drives in vast parts of its product portfolio, including a 60 GB 1.8" drive, 73 GB 2.5" 15K enterprise drives and the currently highest capacity drive, a 750 GB version of the 3.5" Barracuda desktop drive. While PMR drives accounted for about 25% of Seagate's hard drive shipments in the fourth quarter of last year, the company is expected to use PMR technology in 75% of all hard drives leaving its production facilities by the end of this year.

The company appeared to be virtually unchallenged in the PMR capacity race in 2006, but Seagate could see more competition in 2007. The company recently confirmed that it will be releasing a 1 TB 3.5" drive within the first half of this year; however, Hitachi was the first company to actually announce a 1 TB drive last month.