By MAY WONG, AP Technology Writer
Seagate Technology LLC is beefing up the capacity of its hard disk
drives to a whopping 750 gigabytes, offering consumers of digital
media more storage for their computers than ever before.
The drive Seagate will introduce Wednesday, the Barracuda 7200.10, is
the first computer desktop disk drive to hit the 750-gigabyte mark and
represents a 50 percent increase from the previous industry maximum of
Scotts Valley-based Seagate, the world's largest disk-drive maker, is
first releasing the product as an internal drive for PC makers. Next
week, it plans to introduce external hard drives -- add-ons that
consumers can use to supplement their existing computer setups -- with
a suggested retail price of $559.
After that, Seagate plans to introduce versions for other consumer
electronics, such as digital video recorders that are growing in
popularity as standalone set-top-boxes or part of cable and satellite
For consumers, the beefier drives mean they can store more movies,
photos, games and songs with less worry about quickly running out of
space. They also could have larger backup drives to ensure against
data loss when their drives crash. (Seagate offers a five-year
warranty on its drives.)
Analysts say a 750-gigabyte drive could hold roughly 375 hours of
standard-definition television programming, about 75 hours of
high-definition video, or more than 10,000 music CDs converted to the
MP3 digital audio format.
For the hard drive industry, the capacity milestone pegs the biggest,
fastest jump in its 50-year history.
The big leap stems from a new so-called "perpendicular recording"
technology that allows drive makers like Seagate and rival Hitachi
Global Storage Technologies to boost the density of a disk by aligning
bits of data vertically rather than horizontally. At the same time,
fewer moving components are needed in the drives.
The advances are leading to the largest, most reliable disk drives
yet, said Seagate product marketing manager Joni Clark.
Before long, consumers will have terabyte-, or 1,000-gigabyte, drives
at their disposal, Clark said.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.
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