At Cebit this week, Fujitsu will announce two new disk drive families: the 15,000 rpm SCSI/Fibre Channel line of drive, dubbed "MAU," which will top out at 147 GB; and the 10,000 rpm MAT family, in capacities ranging from 73 to 300 GB.
The company is the first to announce a 147 GB, 15,000 rpm drive, which previously topped out at 73 GB. Joel Hagberg, Fujitsu's vice president of marketing, expects that in the 15,000 rpm space, this will be the highest capacity enterprise drive on the market for the next 18-24 months.
Whether 15,000 rpm drives feature the best performance, however, remains to be seen. It could turn out that next-generation small form factor drives, which feature a 2.5" platter size, could "actually be the performance play," as Hagberg predicts, because you can squeeze many more 2.5" than 3.5" drives -- and, therefore, more heads -- in a given space. Fujitsu and Seagate have both announced 2.5" enterprise drives.
With the 300 GB, 10,000 rpm drive, Fujitsu is following in the footsteps of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST), which announced a similar drive just a couple of weeks ago.
But Fujitsu can claim a design win over the HGST drive, by achieving 300 GB in four rather than five platters, Hagberg says. Down the road, Fujitsu's 75 GB platters should enable the company to keep costs down relative to the competition.
Of course, competition is key, and Fujitsu is by no means the leader in the disk drive space, with only 18.8% percent of the 3.5" enterprise disk drive space as of the end of 2003, compared to Seagate's 51.5%, according to IDC. Seagate has indicated that it will release a "fat fibre" drive sometime this year, but so far has declined to comment when.
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