Seagate promises 6TB drives this year

January 31, 2014 // 10:14 a.m.

Tags: #6tb #hard-drive #helioseal #heliosealed #helium #hgst #hitachi #pmr #seagate #steve-luczo #storage #western-digital

Storage giant Seagate has pledged to launch a desktop hard drive with a capacity of 6TB in the second quarter of this year, in an attempt to catch up to rival Western Digital.

Western Digital's HGST division - previously Hitachi Global Storage Technologies - became the first manufacturer to offer a single standard form-factor 3.5" hard drive offering a whopping 6TB capacity in November last year. The surprising jump in capacity came thanks to a novel manufacturing technique which replaces the air normally found inside a hard drive with helium in order to reduce drag - allowing for a seven-platter spinning-rust storage device that just about crams into a standard hard drive bay.

Now, Seagate has pledged to match that but with a more sedate six-platter layout - and to launch the device by the end of the second quarter. 'We are continuing to expand our offering of high capacity drives,' Seagate chief executive Steve Luczo told investors and press during the company's most recent earnings call, 'with our six-disk, 6TB drive shipping early next quarter.'

Luczo was, however, silent on how the company has managed to add an extra platter to its drives' design without taking a leaf from Hitachi's book and using a novel gas for its interior. The company has, however, confirmed that the drives will be based around perpendicular magnetic recording and be of the same design as the company uses in its existing 1TB-per-platter storage offerings.

Sadly for those hoping that the launch will lead to a high-capacity price war, Luczo noted that the first 6TB drives will be aimed firmly at the enterprise storage market - meaning it could be a while before prices drop to the level of the enthusiast's pocket.

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