Seagate Plans to Expand Hybrid Hard Drives Lineup to Desktops and Servers

Seagate Tests New 7mm and 5mm Hard Drives

by Anton Shilov
10/31/2012 | 11:40 PM

Seagate Technology on Wednesday confirmed that it had developed its 5mm thick storage devices for ultra-slim mobile applications and that it had already submitted its fourth-generation hybrid hard drives for evaluation by computer makers. The company also said it would eventually develop hybrid drives for desktops and corporate market segments.


“We are now on our third-generation, solid-state hybrid notebook drives, and we are expanding this technology into desktop and enterprise products. We also have new 7mm and 5mm products at customers for qualification and evaluation, which position us very well for the new thin and light notebook systems,” said Steven Luczo, chief executive officer of Seagate, during the most recent conference call with financial analysts.

For about five years Seagate has been offering hybrid drives – which combine rotating media with NAND flash cache for increased performance amid high capacity – only for mobile PC segment. Apparently, in a bid to offer better performance for desktops and servers, the company also plans to implement caching technology into its desktop and enterprise lineups.

According to Seagate, adding NAND flash cache of proper capacity to enterprise hard disk drives increases the number of input/output operations per second (IOPS) they can perform by two or three times, which is impressive, but still dramatically lower when compared to even mainstream solid-state drives.

“Where I am most excited, is the attention that the hybrid in enterprise is getting at a couple of accounts, because you basically can boost IOPS performance by [two to three times]. […] So we have a couple of large enterprise customers that are very interested in the product, and that's probably the one I am most excited about,” said the head of Seagate. 

Another positive news is that Seagate is also on track to ship ultra-slim hard disk drives that are just 5mm thick for ultrabooks and ultra-thin laptops next year. Seagate has not announced the new disk drives officially so far, but it gave a clear signal that it would be completely competitive against its arch-rival Western Digital, which has revealed its 5mm plans already, next year, when the new HDDs hit mass production. Still, it should be noted that the first 2.5”/5mm hard drives from Seagate will not contain NAND flash cache, the company indicated.

“We believe Seagate is well positioned to sustain strong financial performance in this challenging economic environment, as well as to address the opportunities associated with the needs of cloud computing and mobile connectivity,” concluded Mr. Luczo.