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SATA-IO Rolls Out USM Slim Specification for Thinner, Lighter External Storage

The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO), the industry consortium dedicated to sustaining the quality, integrity and dissemination of Serial ATA (SATA) technology, today announced it has finalized a new version of its Universal Storage Module (USM) standard that enables consumers to simply and easily increase the storage capacity of their mobile devices. The USM Slim specification defines a thinner, 9 mm dimension, making it an ideal storage solution for ultrabooks, tablets and other portable devices.

Demand for thinner, lighter mobile devices often results in decreased native storage capacities, limiting the amount of content consumers can carry with them. The USM Slim specification allows manufacturers to develop external storage offerings that seamlessly pair with these thin and light devices so that consumers can still have instant access to their music, movies, photos and other content at any time or place. The smaller form factor now makes it possible for thinner CE devices to integrate the USM host connector or slot to accept the 9 mm module.

Seagate to Acquire Controlling Interest in LaCie

Seagate Technology plc the worldwide leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions, and LaCie S.A., a leading manufacturer of consumer storage products, today announced an exclusive agreement with the intent for Seagate to acquire a controlling interest in LaCie.

Seagate has offered to purchase from Philippe Spruch, LaCie's chairman and CEO, and his affiliate, all of their shares, representing 64.5% of the outstanding shares of LaCie. Following receipt of governmental approvals and the close of this transaction, Seagate would commence an all-cash simplified tender offer (followed as the case may be by a squeeze-out procedure) to acquire the remaining outstanding shares in accordance with the General Regulation of the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).

Seagate To Demonstrate 12 Gb/s Drives At SCSI Trade Association's Technical Showcase

Seagate will demonstrate a variety of technologies at the SCSI Trade Association (STA) Technology Showcase this week aimed at improving the performance of servers, datacenters and cloud computing applications, including the first public demonstration of solid-state drives operating at 12 gigabits per second.

Seagate will show Pulsar.2 solid-state drives working with the new 12 Gb/s SAS standard at the showcase, taking place at the Hyatt Hotel in Santa Clara, Calif. on May 9, 2012. The new standard doubles the data throughput of industry-standard drives equipped with the enhanced SAS interface, enabling much faster server and storage solutions. The enhanced standard also fully maintains the rich data integrity, scalability, serviceability, and hot swappable protocol feature set that enterprises depend on to safeguard critical data, minimize costly downtime, and ensure infrastructures easily keep up with growing data storage demands.

Seagate Technology Announces $2.5 Billion Share Repurchase

Seagate Technology plc today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the Company to repurchase up to $2.5 billion of its outstanding ordinary shares (the "April 2012 Authorization"). Seagate, as a result of the April 2012 Authorization and other current repurchase authorizations, currently has a total authorized unutilized capacity for repurchases of approximately $3.5 billion under these authorizations.

"The repurchase authorization reflects the confidence that the Board and the executive management team have in Seagate's ability to generate cash, while still investing in innovation and growth opportunities," said Steve Luczo, CEO of Seagate. "Importantly, it supports and is consistent with our ongoing focus on returning value to our shareholders."

Seagate Technology Reports Fiscal Third Quarter 2012 Financial Results

Seagate Technology plc today reported financial results for the quarter ended March 30, 2012. The company reported revenue of $4.4 billion, gross margin of 37%, net income of $1.1 billion and diluted earnings per share of $2.48. On a non-GAAP basis, which excludes the net impact of certain items, Seagate reported net income of $1.2 billion and diluted earnings per share of $2.64.

The company generated approximately $938 million in cash from operations, paid cash dividends of $112 million and used approximately $1.1 billion to repurchase 43.1 million shares of common stock and for the early retirement of debt.

Seagate Reaches 1 Tb Per Square Inch Milestone in HDD Storage with New Technology

Seagate has become the first hard drive maker to achieve the milestone storage density of 1 terabit (1 trillion bits) per square inch, producing a demonstration of the technology that promises to double the storage capacity of today's hard drives upon its introduction later this decade and give rise to 3.5-inch hard drives with an extraordinary capacity of up to 60 terabytes over the 10 years that follow. The bits within a square inch of disk space, at the new milestone, far outnumber stars in the Milky Way, which astronomers put between 200 billion and 400 billion.

Seagate Readies 500 GB Version of 9 mm-thick FreeAgent

Seagate is working on a new variant of the 9 mm-thick FreeAgent portable hard drive it launched back in April 2011. The new variant features a fast 7200 RPM drive, with a capacity of 500 GB. The original model had 320 GB capacity. Measuring 124 x 78 x 9 mm, and weighing 160 g, the drives take advantage of USB 3.0 SuperSpeed interface, with a single cable handling power and connectivity. The new 500 GB variant costs about $170, which is very high compared to the launch price of the 320 GB variant, which was around $99, but then you have to take into account the escalation of HDD prices across the industry since September 2011.

Adaptec Doubles Server Storage Performance and Bandwidth in CeBIT Demo

PMC-Sierra, Inc., (Nasdaq:PMCS) or PMC, the semiconductor innovator transforming storage, optical and mobile networks, today announced that Adaptec by PMC is demonstrating a server that doubles storage performance, reduces power consumption and increases reliability in a smaller data center footprint to help meet the soaring demands on data centers while driving down total cost of ownership. The CeBIT demonstration features a RAID controller card prototype based on the industry’s only PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0 capable 24-port RAID-on-Chip (RoC) from PMC, installed in a system based on the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family, and 22 Seagate Pulsar enterprise solid state drives (SSDs). Visit Adaptec in the CeBIT Storage Pavilion, Hall 2, Stand E51 to view the demonstration.

The server configuration delivers a sustained data transfer rate of 6600 MB/s in reads and 5000 MB/s in writes. This performance is made possible by the significant bandwidth advantages of the new Intel platform’s PCIe 3.0 interface combined with the SRCv’s 24-6Gb/s SAS interfaces and Seagate’s SAS Pulsar SSDs that deliver sequential reads of 370 MB/s and sequential writes of 200 MB/s. Previous-generation systems based on PCIe 2.0 are typically capable of less than 3000 MB/s data transfer rates.

Logitec Intros External HDD Enclosure with Thermal Monitor

Japanese company Logitec (not to be confused with Logitech), released an ingenious new 3.5-inch external HDD enclosure, the LHD-EG, which features temperature-sensing, and a thermal-controlled fan that keeps the drive and electronics cool, making it fit for on-field (under shade) usage. The fan stays off till the ambient temperature is less than or equal to 45 °C.

Logitec is pairing this enclosure with Seagate's Barracuda 7200.14 SATA 6 Gb/s HDDs, to come up with three capacity options: 1 TB, 2 TB, and 3 TB. The enclosure provides eSATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.0 (backwards compatible with USB 2.0) to connect to the host. When connected via eSATA, the USB cable should be plugged in to draw power, or a 12V external power brick has to be used. Measuring 120 x 199 x 35mm (WxDxH), the drives typically weigh 1.1 kg. Disc-cloning and backup software comes bundled. The 1 TB, 2 TB, and 3 TB variants are priced at 13,480 JPY (US $171); 17,980 JPY (US $228); and 29,800 (US $378).

Source: Hermitage Akihabara

Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter Starts Shipping

Seagate started shipping its GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter accessory. The gadget lets you connect a SATA drive (HDD or SSD) to a host machine over 10 Gbps Thunderbolt interface, completely eliminating any bottleneck (USB 3.0 bottlenecks SATA 6 Gb/s). It works by simply sliding and locking in a SATA device to its industry-standard SATA power+data interface, and plugging the adapter to the host using a Thunderbolt cable. The Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter is priced at US $99.99.
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