Seagate With Record 1TB on One 3.5-Inch Platter

4TB HDDs could become a reality very soon.
This is a Press Release edited by on 2011.05.05

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Seagate Technology LLC unveiled the first 3.5-inch hard drive featuring 1TB of storage capacity per disk platter, breaking the 1TB areal density barrier to help meet worldwide demand for digital content storage in both the home and the office.


Seagate's GoFlex Desk products are the first to feature the new hard drive, delivering storage capacities of up to 3TB and an areal density of 625 Gigabits per square inch, the industry's highest.

Seagate is on track to ship its 3.5-inch Barracuda desktop hard drive with 3TBs of storage on 3 disk platters - enough capacity to store up to 120 high-definition movies, 1,500 video games, thousands of photos or virtually countless hours of digital music - to the distribution channel in mid-2011. The drive will also be available in capacities of 2TB, 1.5TB and 1TB.

"Organizations of all sizes and consumers worldwide are amassing digital content at light speed, generating immense demand for storage of digital content of every imaginable kind," said Rocky Pimentel, Seagate Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing. "We remain keenly focused on delivering the storage capacity, speed and manageability our customers need to thrive in an increasingly digital world."

GoFlex Desk external drives are compatible with both the Windows operating system and Mac computers. Each drive includes an NTFS driver for Mac, which allows the drive to store and access files from both Windows and Mac OS X computers without reformatting. The GoFlex Desk external drive's sleek black 3.5-inch design sits either vertically or horizontally to accommodate any desktop environment.

Our Comments

Samsung demonstrated at last CeBIT in March 2011 one terabyte of data per platter with a two-disk HDD model as well as 1TB 2.5-inch HDD with 500GB per platter. Just demos.

Seagate will be probably the first to ship HDDs with 1TB platters at a record 625Gb per square inch in mid-2011, beginning with external and then internal units at 3TB rotating at 7,200rpm. But WD, who generally announces hard disk drives when they are in production, has few weeks to react to its competitor.

Up to know, 3TB units integrate 4 or 5 disks at a maximum of 750GB per disk. Normally HDDs of the same capacity with less components are cheaper. But Seagate didn't reveal any price. The current FreeAgent GoFlex Desk external drive with USB 3.0 costs $230 if purchased on Seagate web site. But it's not sure that the price will be decreasing. Following the tsunami in Japan, Hitachi GST and Toshiba encounter many problems. According to one of our sources, as much as seven million of HDDs are missing each month to respond to the worldwide demand. The prices are exploding. And this situation could continue during all the year.

In a 3.5-inch form factor, it's is possible to insert four or even five disks, meaning that the first 4TB units at a record capacity of 4TB never seen in the industry will arrive soon. This kind of devices will be appreciated by all the users, from the consumer to the enterprise markets.  

The first 3TB HDD was launched a little more than one year ago (June 2010), also by Seagate in an external model, the 3TB FreeAgent GoFlex Desk, at this time at $250. Hitachi GST and WD were the firsts to ship 1TB in 2007 and 2TB in 2009, respectively.

  Technologies for Areal Density Growth
  (Source: Coughlin Associates)