Seagate announced several new HDD products today that it expects will drive its revenue growth to $10 billion this year.

Amongst the products announced were:

· A 60 GB 1.8 inch perpendicular drive for handheld devices
· A 2.5 inch notebook hybrid drive that combines rotating disc and flash memory
· 3.5 inch HDDs up to 750GB which are optimised for personal video recorders (PVRs)
· An enterprise drive, Savvio, with low power requirements
· The next-generation Mirra Server that syncs data between PC and Mac platforms
· An 8 GB pocket drive
Seagate’s Managing Director of Channel Sales and Marketing, Kevin Lee, said at the launch:

“The world is moving to digital and the main driver of this is the availability of high-capacity rotating storage, combined with the availability of affordable, fast, processing and ubiquitous broadband and wireless connectivity.

The World is now really connected. Users of electronics, mobile and desktop computing are no longer now just users of digital information, but creators of digital information. The capacity required for recording movies, TV, and digital video footage, will increase tremendously. For example, over 200 billion digital photos will be taken this year alone.

Not only enterprise content, but personally created content will proliferate. Moving forward, we will have video blogs, video created by billions of people worldwide. This content needs to be shaped, edited and stored. The translation is storage demand.

Seagate is positioned to take advantage of this phenomenon. Seagate is growing units and revenue in all markets. Our numbers from IDC in the DVR/STB segment, for example, show that Seagate sold 9.9 million units in 2003, 40 million in 2006 and by 2009 we expect to sell 68 million in that category alone. Our new products will help catapult Seagate into a leading market position. I’m very excited. These products are truly breakthrough.”

An example of its new products is the DB35 series, which has been designed to meet the demands of PVR devices in terms of its high (up to 750 GB) capacity, power consumption and operating volume. “This product will be very important to us, due to the increased uptake of high-definition content in the home,” said Mr Lee. “Our DB35 Series products allow up to 750 hours of standard definition TV recording or 125 hours of high-definition video.

“For PVRs, the continual streaming of data is more important than for, say, security-oriented products. Other considerations and advantages of the range for PVR applications include power consumption. In a PC you have a lot of power and pooling devices, but in PVRs, a drive is in a very small enclosure, therefore you need lower power consumption and lower start-up current.  Also, in terms of noise, PVRs are used in living rooms. Consumers don’t want noisy drives in those environments. These are some of the key differences over our other new products, such as the Barracuda drives.”

It’s clear that the next storage goal to kick will be the one terabyte mark. When does Mr Lee see this as likely to occur? “I can’t put a specific date on that, but with our perpendicular drives we are pushing the envelope of technology that allows us to do that. I believe that Seagate is in a very good position to continuously lead in terms of capacity.”

And are there any new technologies on the horizon Seagate is investing in? Asked if Seagate has any plans to move towards holographic storage, Mr Lee responded by saying “Seagate is committed to a leadership position in the storage category and is aggressively pursuing different innovative storage technologies. There aren’t any (new technologies) we can announce right now, but what I can tell you is that we are putting a lot of money and effort into examining the feasibility of the new technologies.”

See www.seagate.com



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