Western Digital’s Mammoth SATA Drive

Western Digital continues to push the storage envelope as component makers gradually ramp up production of Serial ATA-compatible motherboards, chipsets, and backplanes. In light of this trend, the company announced the world’s largest 7200 RPM Serial ATA (SATA) drive, which will begin shipping in July.

The top-of-the-line WD Caviar SE SATA hard drive will weigh in at 250 GB, with 120, 160, and 200 GB drives rounding out the product family. All models feature an 8 MB cache buffer, speeds of 150 MB per second, and a 3-year warranty.

To strengthen the connection between SATA’s thinner cabling and related hardware, Caviar SE SATA drives borrow a feature from their high-end cousin, the WD Raptor drive. The company’s SecureConnect connectors essentially strengthen the cable connection to the drive, reducing the incidence of broken connectors during installs.

Another high-end feature that has trickled down to the Caviar SE SATA drives is FlexPower, which allows the drive to draw power from SATA power supplies or the EIDE power connectors commonly found on most systems.

SATA drives are expected to have a big impact in the enterprise storage arena. In 2006, nearly 40 percent of drives consumed within the enterprise storage market will be of the SATA variety, according to IDC.

The research firm also argues that while the price premium will hinder consumer adoption in the coming months, IT departments will be more accepting of the drive technology due to its flexible system configuration and performance advantages over Parallel ATA (PATA). A performance roadmap pegs the SATA interface’s top speed at 600 MB per second.

This story originally appeared on Enterprise IT Planet.

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Pedro Hernandez
Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to Datamation, eWEEK, and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of IT-related websites and as the Green IT curator for GigaOM Pro.

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