Seagate will ship 120GB 2.5-inch notebook drives in June 2005.

The Momentus-branded hard drive series includes a 120GB drive that spins at 5,400 rpm and a 100GB drive that spins at 7,200 rpm. This is the first time notebook drives with these combinations of rotational speeds and capacities have been announced by Seagate, according to Mark Walker manager of product marketing at the company.

Seagate's Momentus move

The new range of drives comes in three series that cover the high-performance, mid-range, and value notebook PC markets respectively, Walker said.

The 7200.1 series offers drives with 40GB, 60GB and 80GB capacities as well as the 100GB version. All the drives in this series run at 7,200rpm.

The 5400.2 series offers drives at 30GB, 40GB, 60GB, 80GB and 100GB capacities as well as the 120GB version, and all the drives run at 5,400rpm.

The 4200.2 series also has the same six capacities as the 5400.2 series, but the drives run at 4,200rpm, the company said.

Both the 7200.1 and the 5400.2 series will be available with Parallel ATA or Serial ATA interfaces, while the 4200.2 series will only be available with the Parallel ATA interface, the company said.

Most notebook drives run at 5,400rpm and the 7200.1 series drives will offer noticeably better performance for users, Walker said. The drives are more expensive, however.

Triple market share mooted

Seagate hopes these new drives will help the company to triple its share of the growing global market for notebook PC drives to about 30 per cent within three years, Walker said.

As price and performance differences between notebook PCs and older desktop PCs are narrowing, more people are replacing their desktop PCs with notebook PCs instead of buying desktop PCs, and this trend is boosting demand for 2.5-inch drives.

The number of 2.5 inch drives shipped in 2004 grew nearly 20 per cent compared to 2003, and the market should grow about 20 per cent again to reach nearly 67 million units this year, Walker said.

Seagate had an 11 per cent share of the market for 2.5-inch drives during the first three months of 2005, behind Hitachi Global Storage Technologies with 34 per cent, Fujitsu with 25 per cent, and Toshiba with 22 per cent, according to estimates provided by Seagate.

"We are number four right now but we want to be in the top three," Walker said.