Sources close to Seagate roadmaps have leaked the potential of a 3TB SAS drive being released this year.

The quest for storage is almost a never ending saga.  Dubbed the Constellation-ES, the replacement for the Seagate Barracuda-ES, the drive is expected to arrive later this year with a 7200 RPM rotation speed, and a 6Gbit/s SAS interface.  A 1TB version of the 2.5" Barracuda-ES is also expected to arrive around the mid year point.

A 3TB drive would suggest an increase in maximum platter size, from the current 500GB limit.  If you remember back that far, the increase in density was due to a change in bit alignment, from horizontal to vertical, to counter the superparamagnetic effect.  Hitachi made an excellent and funny flash animation to describe the technology.  The feeling is that the increase in platter size is an extension of that technology, rather than a new physical property being exploited.

Depending on how quickly these new hard drives hit the enterprise sector, we could see consumer 3TB hard drives by the end of the year as a positive estimate.  However, 17GB/$ ($175 a unit) or a price comparable to current 2TB hard drives would be required for consumer market acceptance.  Whether people require 3TB is another matter - video editors, professional photographers, or just for storing your movie and blu-ray collection are possibilities.

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  • psionic1 - Friday, May 14, 2010 - link

    With every new storage increase there are always people asking who really needs drives that big. I suspect you can find articles lamenting over how to use 80GB drives, yet even my non-techie girlfriend can fill up her 160GB Windows partition with iTunes downloads and digital camera pics.

    Don't any of you have DV cams, digital cameras, ISO collections, movie collections, multiple operating systems, full backups or the 50 other things that consume dozens if not hundreds of GB of hard disk space?

    I gladly welcome 3TB. Even if you can't use 3TB, there are plenty of people who are holding for single platter 750GB and single platter 1TB drives.
  • xsilver - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - link

    exactly - I went on vacation and filled up 160gb worth of photos on an SLR. And my camera doesnt even record video - If you had one that did 1080, you could legitimately clock up 2tb in 1 year easy.

    Even just recording the entire upcoming soccer world cup @ 1080 off tv would eat more than 1tb
  • Jim1900 - Thursday, June 10, 2010 - link

    The shift to perpendicular recording occurred at the 160GB density, at least for Seagate. WD waited until the next generation.

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