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Seagate Technology, the world’s largest producer of hard disc drives (HDDs), announced Tuesday its new Cheetah 15K.5 hard drive designed for enterprise-class servers. The new Cheetah is the industry’s first HDD for enterprise market that uses perpendicular recording technology that enables the device to offer record capacities amid record performance.

Originally, Seagate planned to release the new Cheetah 15K.5 hard disk drives a bit later, however, according to the company’s spokesman David Szabados, “the qualifications and testing have gone extremely well” and the company decided to launch the drives ahead of schedule. The early launch of the fresh Cheetah should once again emphasize Seagate’s aggressive intention to transit its production to perpendicular recording technology as rapidly as possible.

Like all Cheetah 15K hard disc drives, the new Cheetah 15K.5 features 15 000rpm motor, average latency of 2ms, 8MB cache, 3.5” form-factor and other peculiarities of enterprise-class HDDs, such increased to 1.4 million hours mean time between failure (MTBF). However, being the world’s first enterprise hard drive that features perpendicular recording media and 147GB platters, the new Cheetah 15K.5 could provide record capacities of up to 300GB, up from 147GB offered by Cheetah 15K.4, and also improve sustained transfer rate to 125MB, up from 96MB/s by the predecessor, according to specifications submitted by the company.

Seagate’s Cheetah 15K.5 hard drives are available in 73GB, 47GB and 300GB capacities and in a choice of Serial Attached SCSI  (SAS) 300Mb/s, Ultra320 SCSI and  4Gb/s Fibre Channel interfaces.

Seagate is now shipping the Cheetah 15K.5 to leading OEM customers and will start supply the new enterprise-class HDDs to the distribution channel later this quarter, the company indicated.

Perpendicular recording gets its name from the vertical alignment of data bits on the plane of the disk, which takes less room in contrast to the horizontal orientation of today’s longitudinal recording technology. To be accurately recorded and read, the more closely-packed perpendicular bits also require a closer association between the read/write head and the recording media. Hitachi said earlier this year it had achieved the 230Gb/in2 density by manipulating the head and media so that the distance between them is a mere 10nm.

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