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Seagate Technology, the world’s largest maker of hard disk drives, announced its first external hard drive that features perpendicular recording media. The announcement coincides with beginning of the Momentus 5400.3 hard drive shipments, which begins Seagate’s rapid transition to perpendicular recording media, which should be completed in about a year time, according to the company.

Seagate’s new Momentus 5400.3 family of hard disk drive (HDD) for mainstream notebooks comes in 2.5” form-factor and offers capacities of 40GB, 60GB, 80GB, 120GB and 160GB along with rotational speed of 5400rpm. The drives are equipped with 8MB cache as well as, when shipped with Serial ATA interface, support native command queuing technology that intelligently orders multiply read and write commands.

Additionally, Seagate announced its portable external HDD in 2.5” form-factor with up to 160GB capacity and 5400rpm rotational speeds. The product sports FireWire and USB 2.0 interconnection. The Seagate 160GB Portable Hard Drive will be available in February, 2006 and will retail for $379.

Both products are likely to use 80GB platters, which was made possible because of perpendicular recording technology. Previously portable and mobile HDDs utilized 60GB platters.

Seagate said that in 2006 the vast majority of products shipped by the company would be using perpendicular recording technology in late July, 2005. When acquiring Maxtor late last year, Seagate claimed that the company was better positioned to manufacture perpendicular recording media than itself.

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