Breaking new ground in the mobile computing market, Seagate Technology today announced the world’s first 2.5-inch disc drive built on perpendicular recording technology—a 160GB notebook PC giant with 25 percent more capacity than the largest capacity notebook drive currently available. This expansion of Seagate’s family of Momentus notebook drives further closes the capacity and performance gap between desktop and notebook PC hard drives as more users replace aging desktop systems with fast, high-capacity notebook computers.

Seagate today also became the first major hard disc drive maker to announce plans to roll out strong, transparent hardware-based data protection for notebook computers that prevents unauthorized access to data. Robust notebook security is increasingly important as thefts of notebooks with sensitive personal and business information continue to rise, with companies incurring millions of dollars of losses in lost or stolen trade secrets and intellectual property and individuals facing the high cost of identify theft.

“Mobile professionals are turning to notebooks to satisfy both their mobile and office computing needs,” said John Buttress, IDC’s research manager for hard drives. “They are also demanding stronger, easier to use encryption solutions to protect their sensitive information. Drive manufacturers such as Seagate that can deliver stronger security and higher capacity using technologies such as perpendicular recording will be in the sweet spot of market demand for notebooks.”

First Perpendicular Recording Technology On a 2.5-inch Hard Drive

The new Momentus disc drive will be the first 2.5-inch notebook product to use perpendicular recording, a technology that stands data bits on end on the disc platter, rather than flat to the surface as with existing longitudinal recording, to achieve new levels of hard drive data density and storage capacity. Standing bits on end also improves the reliability of read-write performance in demanding environments. The Momentus enhancements come without increases in power consumption or heat generation—crucial as remote users look to work longer between battery charges and system builders seek to pack more performance in smaller notebooks.

Protecting Notebook Information – Momentus Now Delivers Strong, Easy-to-Use Data Security

Seagate has taken the lead in responding to increasing concern about lost or stolen business and personal data with an easy, cost-effective way to deliver strong protection against unauthorized access to data on notebook PCs. Seagate’s new Momentus 5400 FDE hard drive will use hardware-based Full Disc Encryption (FDE) to provide strong data protection and requires only a user key to encrypt all data, not just selected files or partitions, on the drive. What’s more, Seagate FDE eliminates disc initialization and configuration required by encryption software, and allows hard drive data to be erased instantly so the drive can be redeployed.

Seagate FDE puts all security keys and cryptographic operations within the drive, separating them from the operating system to provide greater protection against hacking and tampering than traditional software alternatives, which can give thieves backdoor access to encryption keys and are more vulnerable to viruses. FDE is a key component of Seagate’s DriveTrust Technology, a suite of security features inside the drive that enables robust system-level security such as key management and recovery.

“Seagate’s introduction of hardware-based full disc encryption is an important step to providing highly secure and easy to use encryption technology to the broader marketplace,” said Martin Wulfert, CEO of Utimaco, a leading provider of security solutions to major OEMs. “Momentus 5400 FDE is a perfect complement to our enterprise key management and recovery solutions, which enable corporations to centrally define and simplify management of IT security policies across all mobile platforms.”

Momentus Family Meets a Wide Range of Needs

“More office and home users want all the capabilities of a desktop PC in a notebook computer—high performance and capacity, stronger security and quiet operation—combined with power efficiency so they can run longer between battery charges,” said Brian Dexheimer, Seagate executive vice president of Global Sales and Marketing. “Some prefer lower-cost notebooks with lower performance and capacity. All of them need products that can take a pounding during travel and remote use. Seagate is meeting all these needs with a comprehensive suite of hard drives built on the most advanced technology platform in the industry.”

Momentus 5400.3, a 5,400-rpm drive, will be Seagate’s first to bring the higher capacities and performance of perpendicular recording to mainstream notebook PCs and non-PC applications including external storage, commercial printers and copiers, and non-mission critical blade servers. Next year Seagate will extend the advantages of perpendicular recording to Momentus 7200.1, a 7,200-rpm drive designed for mobile workstations and other high-performance notebook computing applications.

Perpendicular recording is a key addition to the 2.5-inch Momentus family—a suite ranging from 4,200-rpm drives for mainstream notebooks to 7,200-rpm drives for high-performance computing—as Seagate redefines mobile computing by delivering rugged, power-thrifty hard drives that combine whisper-quiet operation with new levels of performance and capacity.

The Momentus family is built tough to withstand up to 900 Gs of non-operating shock and 350 Gs of operating shock to protect drive data, making the drives ideal for environments where systems are jarred or subject to high levels of vibration. The hard drives are also lean on power consumption, allowing notebook users to work longer between battery charges, and are virtually inaudible thanks to Seagate’s innovative SoftSonic fluid-dynamic bearing motors and QuietStep ramp load technology.

The new Momentus hard drives are among 10 new notebook, desktop and consumer electronics products Seagate announced today. The Seagate Momentus 5400 FDE and the Momentus 5400.3 will ship this winter.