Seagate announces Innov8 8TB USB-powered hard drive
March 31, 2016 // 11:06 a.m.
Seagate has launched the first 3.5" hard drive to run from USB bus power, and it's going big: the Innov8 features a whopping 8TB of unformatted capacity.
Typically, external mechanical hard drives are split into segments: portable and desktop. The portable models use 2.5" drives internally, taking advantage of the lower power requirements to run entirely from the power provided by a system's USB ports and needing no external power supply; the desktop models use 3.5" drives to offer higher capacities, but the additional power draw means an external power supply is a must. The USB 3.1 specification, however, promises far higher power draws - enough to charge a laptop or run an external monitor - meaning that it's now possible to drive 3.5" drives without an external PSU, a feature of which Seagate is the first to take advantage.
The Seagate Innov8 external hard drive features one of the company's 3.5" 8TB monster mechanical drives in an external enclosure featuring a reversible USB 3.1 Type C connector. The USB 3.1 standard alone, though, isn't quite enough to start the spindle on its way to its operational rotational speed, a problem Seagate has solved through Ignition Boost Technology. Described as the hard drive equivalent of using a battery to kick-start a car engine, the Ignition Boost system - almost certainly a simple yet hefty capacitor, though the company hasn't provided details to confirm - provides the extra umph required to get the drive spinning, after which the USB 3.1 power supply can take over.
The Seagate Innov8 is due to launch in April at US manufacturer's suggested selling price of $349. Thus far, the company has not indicated whether it plans to release lower-capacity variants for buyers on a budget.