Disk drives are again stealing the spotlight as a flurry of related news comes from storage companies.
You might imagine that disk manufacturers and other storage vendors have enough on their hands with the upcoming SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) devices. In fact, only last week Adaptec, HP and Seagate featured at CEBit America an SAS controller governing both SAS and SATA (Serial ATA) drives.
Nevertheless, Seagate found the time to quietly prepare its plants for manufacturing (and shipping, as of last week) laptop drives, a new entry for the company and a move that comes only weeks after new announcements in this area from HGST (Hitachi Global Storage Technologies) and Fujitsu.
Some details about the new drive are in order. The battle name of this 2.5-inch, 5400 rpm drive is Momentus, which Seagate ships in 20 and 40GB capacity on a single platter, with both models offering 2MB or 8MB caches to improve performance.
Seagate indicates that the new ATA 100 drive offers low power consumption (comparable to that of slower 4200 rpm models), quiet operations, and exceptional resilience to failures, all factors that obviously resonate well with manufacturers and users of mobile devices.
In the complex chessboard layout where the disk drives battle is fought, Seagate's entry in the mobile segment is the logical equivalent of promoting a pawn to a major piece, which gives the company another, much-needed revenue pipeline.
Perhaps equally important, the Momentus line will open new business opportunities for Seagate that partners could find more appealing than competitors' alternatives. After all, Seagate is not in the business of manufacturing laptops.
Regardless of how you slice it, the disk drive market (and those affected by it) promises to offer most of the excitement for months to come. I could be wrong, but something tells me that we haven't seen anything yet.