Oct 26, 1998

Seagate Announces the Latest-Generation of Cheetah and Barracuda Disc Drive Families: Driving a New Standard for Enterprise Storage

Seagate Technology, Inc. (NYSE: SEG) today raised the bar for high-performance and mainstream enterprise storage devices, advancing areal densities to 4.545 Gbytes per platter, drive capacity to as high as 50 Gbytes, and sustained throughput to 28 Mbytes/second. These capabilities are the equivalent of storing a stack of memos reaching over three times the height of the Eiffel Tower and transcribing the complete text of Shakespeare's Hamlet in 7/1000ths of a second.

The third generation of the 10,000-rpm Cheetah family and the fifth generation of the Barracuda family leverage the proven design and reliability standards of preceding Seagate enterprise storage products in order to establish industry-leading levels of total storage volume, performance, and available capacity-points.

The 10,000-rpm Cheetah family sets a new record for sustained data throughput, delivering performance as high as 28 Mbytes/second. The Cheetah 18LP and Cheetah 36 utilize technology engineered by Seagate to improve seek times, power consumption, cooling requirements, and acoustics. The latest 7,200-rpm Barracuda family, including the Barracuda 18LP, Barracuda 36, and Barracuda 50, boosts sustained data transfer rates to as high as 25.7 Mbytes/second. Combining proven designs with innovative new features positions the latest line of Cheetah and Barracuda disc drives as the best solution for today's workstation, server, and storage subsystem applications, which demand reliable, high-performance and high capacity disc drives.

"Compaq customers have gained tremendous performance advantages by using Compaq 10,000 RPM disk drives in ProLiant servers and storage solutions," said Jeff Jenkins Manager of Data Products Marketing at Compaq Computer Corporation.

James Rothnie, EMC Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Technical Officer, said, "The Barracuda's balance of reliability, capacity and performance have made it a key component of EMC's industry leading Symmetrix Enterprise Storage systems. EMC and Seagate continue to work closely on designing, testing and qualifying next generation disk drives in order to continue to provide customers with the world's most advanced storage systems."

Never before has a single generation of disc drives offered such a broad range of solutions to users, with what is most likely the two most respected brand names in disc drives today, said Don Kelly, Seagate's senior vice president of High-Performance Products. The new Barracuda and Cheetah disc drives deliver the high reliability and performance that has made the lines famous. With over 17 million models shipped between the two families, the latest generations of these drives continue a tremendous legacy.

The Cheetah 18LP and Cheetah 36 boast top industry seek times of 5.2 and 5.7 msec, respectively. The Cheetah 18LP is a low-profile, 3.5 form factor drive available with either 18 Gbytes or 9 Gbytes of capacity distributed over either six or three platters, respectively. The Cheetah 36 fits a 3.5 half-height profile and utilizes twelve platters. Just in Time (JIT) seeking is a feature debuting on all new Cheetahs. JIT seeks benefit customers by delivering lower overall power consumption and acoustical noise associated with head movement, making drive activity faster, quieter and consuming less power. The Cheetah family of disc drives has received more than fifty accolades from leading publications around the world, dubbed with such titles as World's Fastest Disc Drive, Best Hard Drive, and Product of the Year.

The Barracuda 18LP, Barracuda 36, and Barracuda 50 3.5 disc drives offer the broadest range of capacity points of any disc drive family ever. The five- and three-disc Barracuda 18LP boasts a seek time of 6.9 msec in a low-profile form factor with capacities of 18 Gbytes and 9 Gbytes, respectively. The Barracuda 36 and Barracuda 50 are half-height drives with ten and eleven platters, respectively. The two models share a seek time of 7.4 msec. The Barracuda 50 is unique in commanding synergy between Barracuda 36 mechanics and Cheetah 36 electronics to deliver an aggressive cost-per-Gbyte while increasing sub-system reliability through the need for fewer drives. In the last three years alone, the Barracuda family has enjoyed over three dozen accolades from the world's top publications.

All seven models take advantage of Seagate's leadership in interface development, available with either Ultra2 SCSI or Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL) connectivity. The Ultra2 SCSI implementation leverages Seagate's advanced work with the interface to again deliver true 80 Mbyte/second support and full support of low-voltage differential (LVD) technology. The FC-AL interface, launched to the industry by earlier Seagate Barracudas, is the industry's first to incorporate Public Loop Support (PLS) for greater connectivity, scalability, and networkability.

The new Barracudas and Cheetahs leverage previous Seagate high-end product designs to ensure the easiest migration possible from earlier generations of Seagate drives. Seagate also announced that it will begin shipping the Medalist Pro SCSI line of disc drives with the Ultra2 SCSI interface, starting in the first calendar quarter of 1999. The well-established Medalist Pro SCSI family is ideally suited for entry-level SCSI applications, offering 4.55- and 9.1-Gbyte capacity points. As personal workstations and low-end servers move to embrace Ultra2 SCSI technology, this platform will provide a serious value proposition, building on the proven interface technology already used in the Barracuda and Cheetah product lines.

With thousands of the new Barracuda 18LP and Barracuda 36 drives already produced, volume production is scheduled to begin in November. The Barracuda 50 will be available in March. Single-unit OEM pricing for the 9-Gbyte Barracuda 18LP, 18-Gbyte Barracuda 18LP, Barracuda 36, and Barracuda 50 is $595, $1,070, $1,815, and $2,275, respectively. Single-unit OEM pricing for the 9-Gbyte Cheetah 18LP, 18-Gbyte Cheetah 18LP, and Cheetah 36 is $695, $1,240 and $2,100, respectively, with availability of all Cheetahs scheduled for February. Single-unit OEM pricing for the 4.55-Gbyte Medalist Pro SCSI and 9.1-Gbyte Medalist Pro SCSI is $290 and $505, respectively, and is scheduled to be available in November. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) may contact their Seagate sales representative for volume pricing. With these two series, Seagate's Cheetah and Barracuda families provide customers with the best balance between performance and value.


Seagate Technology, Inc. (NYSE:SEG) is a leading provider of technology and products enabling people to store, access, and manage information. The Company is committed to providing best-in-class products to help people get information when, where and how they want it. Seagate is the world's largest manufacturer of disc drives, magnetic discs and read-write heads, an innovator in tape drives, and a leading developer of Enterprise Information Management software. Seagate can be found around the globe and on the World Wide Web at http://www.seagate.com. For automated news, stock and financial information by phone, dial toll-free 877-SEG-NYSE. Outside the U.S. and Canada, dial 760-704-4368.