updated 09:50 am EDT, Mon March 9, 2009
Seagate shows 6GBps HDD
Seagate on Monday at the Everything Channel Xchange Conference in New Orleans has shown off a hard drive with a SATA 3 interface that allows it to transfer files at burst speeds up to 6 gigabits per second, or a real-world 600 megabytes per second. This is double the theoretical maximum of 3Gbps of the current SATA 2 interface and quadruple that of SATA drives, which peak at 1.5Gbps. The drive, developed in partnership with chipmaker AMD, will be backwards compatible with the existing SATA and SATA 2 interfaces, using the same cables.
Apart from faster speeds, SATA 3 will also be more energy efficient, while the higher throughput will be largely achieved by improved native command queuing. At the show, Seagate set up two PCs side by side, one with a commercially available Barracuda 7200.12 3Gbps hard drive while the other ran a prototype 6Gbps drive with a prototype AMD chipset capable of supporting the transfer speed. An onscreen speed gauge lets passersby know the former drive was running at just over 2.5Gbps, while the prototype system showed speeds higher than 5.5Gbps.
The SATA 3 hard drives are still in prototype stage, though Seagate promised to bring one to market before year's end. There is no word on a price yet, however. AMD said it would also revise its current 750-series chipsets and future mainboards to support the new interface.