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Seagate launches 80G-byte drives

Seagate Technology on Monday began shipping two 80G-byte hard drives, the latest in the company's U series of drives.

The new drives are the sixth-generation of the company's U series, which are usually used in devices including high-volume PCs, personal video recorders, game consoles and audio jukeboxes, Seagate said in a statement.

The new drives have 40G bytes of space on each of two platters, featuring internal transfer rates of 54.5M bytes per second, an 8.9 millisecond seek time and a 2M-byte cache, Seagate said in a statement.

The 5,400 rpm (revolutions per minute) 80G-byte U series can store up to 120 hours of television-quality video, Seagate said.

Alongside the standard drive, Seagate also launched the U Series CE, specifically created for consumer electronics devices. The CE (consumer electronics) drive is designed for acoustic performance, using fluid dynamic bearing motors instead of ball bearing motors, reducing idle acoustics to 27 decibels. This makes it preferable for acoustically sensitive applications, Seagate said.

The standard 80G-byte U series drive is currently shipping to distributors for $US229, but the street price will probably be a little below that, John Paulsen, manager of Seagate's product communications said.

The U Series CE drive is currently available to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Paulsen said. Seagate does not discuss prices on its OEM products, but the CE drive will be "close in price" to the standard U series, Paulsen said.