Seagate announces perpendicular mobile drive

Today Seagate is taking the wraps off its Momentus 5400.3, the first 2.5" mobile hard drive to use perpendicular recording technology. The drive spins at 5,400RPM, has 8MB of cache, and most importantly, is available in capacities up to 160GB. 160GB isn't all that big by desktop standards, but with the highest capacity mobile drives weighing in at only 120GB, it's still a 33% jump in capacity. Perpendicular recording technology is behind the capacity leap, allowing Seagate to achieve higher areal densities by standing bits on their edge rather than laying them flat on the recording media.

According to Seagate, thousands of Momentus 5400.3 drives have already shipped into the channel. The 160GB model should sell for $325, but it's IDE-only for now. Seagate won't be introducing mobile drives with perpendicular recording and a Serial ATA interface until the summer, which is a little disappointing. After all, Seagate is targeting early adopters, and early adopters are more likely to be sporting Serial ATA-equipped notebooks.

Interestingly, Seagate expects that all its new hard drive products will use perpendicular recording technology by the end of 2006. That includes not only 2.5" mobile drives, but also 3.5" desktop products.

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