March 12, 2009 It’s not all Flash based memory in the world of new storage devices. Traditional HDD’s still have some life in their platters and Seagate and AMD have teamed up to give good old Serial ATA (SATA) HDD’s a speed bump with the first public demonstration of next-generation high-speed data transfer 6Gigabit/second units for bandwidth-hungry desktop and laptop PC applications including gaming, streaming video and graphics multimedia.

The new drives deliver burst speeds of up to 6Gigabits per second for all PC applications, maintain backward compatibility with the SATA 3Gb/second and SATA 1.5Gb/second interfaces, and use the same cables and connectors as previous SATA generations to ease integration. The drives also enhance power efficiency and improve Native Command Queuing, a SATA feature, to increase overall system performance and data transfer speeds of mainstream PC applications - but the real advantages are seen in applications with heavily transactional workloads such as scientific modeling and forecasting, and engineering design and simulation.

The demonstration featured two Seagate SATA disk drives – one a Barracuda 7200.12 3Gb/second hard drive, which is shipping now in 500GB, 750GB and 1TB capacities, and the other a prototype Barracuda 6Gb/second drive – in a desktop PC to show the performance difference between the two generations. The PC is powered by an AMD prototype SATA 6Gb/second chipset. The Seagate SATA 3Gb/second drive runs at more than 2.5Gigabits per second and the SATA 6Gb/second drive at 5.5Gigabits per second, with the performance of each storage interface displayed on the PC monitor.

Unfortunately there was still no word on how much cash you’ll have to outlay for one of these babies at the time of publication.

Darren Quick