As we revealed in May, Seagate is planning to introduce a wide range of new hard disks, including its first one-inch drive, in the second half of this year.
The company has said the new drives will mean its products cover 95 percent of the overall hard-disk market - worth an estimated $22 billion a year globally. The president of Seagate's Japan arm said that currently it competes in about 70 percent of the market.
Seagate's one-inch plans make it the second major hard-disk-drive manufacturer to enter the market, one currently dominated by Hitachi and its MicroDrive products. Other companies include Chinese start-up GS Magicstor and Cornice. They are used almost exclusively in digital music players or high-end digital still cameras. Seagate's version will come in 2.5GB and 5GB sizes. The largest at the moment holds 4GB. (See our features on hard drives getting smaller - part one and part two.)
As well as this drive, Seagate announced a variety of other drives aimed at both the consumer and business markets. The DB35 series consists of three drives (250GB, 300GB, 400GB) and is targeted at the digital video recorder and home media server market. In the case of the highest capacity drive this works out to up to 400 hours of standard definition television or 44 hours of high-definition television.
Three more drives are aimed at use in desktop and notebook personal computers - the Momentus 5400.2 and Momentus 7200.1. The former are 5,400 rpm ATA drives intended for use in mainstream notebooks and the latter are 7,200 rpm ATA and Serial ATA (SATA) drives aimed at workstation-class machines. Both are available in 60GB, 80GB and 100GB capacities. The slower drives will be available in the third quarter and the faster drives in the fourth quarter.
For desktop personal computer and entry-level RAID server use the company also announced the Barracuda 7200.8 series, which will be available in ATA or SATA versions in capacities of 250GB, 300GB and 400GB. They are expected in the third quarter.
Seagate is also planning a range of three USB external drive products based on the previous drives. Models based on the 1-inch and 2.5-inch products will be available in the third quarter and models based on the 3.5-inch drive in the fourth quarter.
For the enterprise sector the company announced four new drives. They included the Cheetah 10K.7, which is a 10,000 rpm SCSI or Fiber Channel drive that will be available in capacities of 73GB, 147GB and 300GB, and the Cheetah 15K.4, which is a 15,000 rpm SAS, Fiber Channel or SCSI drive in 36GB, 73GB and 147GB capacities. All of these drives are expected in the third quarter.
The highest capacity drive in the new line-up is the Seagate NL35-series drive which is a 7,200 rpm drive with a storage capacity of 500GB. It is targeted at use in nearline storage applications and will be available with a Fiber Channel interface and is expected to be available in the fourth quarter. A SATA version will follow in 2005, said Seagate.
Rounding out the enterprise line-up is the Savvio 10K.1, which will also be available in the fourth quarter and is a 10,000 rpm drive in 36GB and 73GB capacities. It has an SAS interface and is intended for use in high-density storage applications.
The new line-up comes on the heels of the company's announcement last week that it plans to lay off about seven percent of its global workforce, or about 2,900 employees, as part of a restructuring. The company is looking to reduce its operating costs by $150 million this year as part of the plan.
Seagate was hit by during the third quarter by a number of factors including lower than anticipated demand for the company's notebook drives.
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