Seagate’s ultra thin external hard drive dubbed the GoFlex Slim performance drive no doubt will see more competition.
Because the Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) just announced a new “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, 9mm dimension, making it an ideal storage solution for ultrabooks, tablets and other portable devices.”
What this standard delivers:
- 41.5% reduction in size from 14.5mm to 9mm
- SATA 6Gb/s interface speeds
- No cost to SATA-IO members
- Widely available as part of the larger SATA Revision 3.2 release available later this year
As areal density continues to increase all be it at a slower pace until HAMR comes out, will ultra thin or slim drives be the new norm for mobile external storage? Today, Seagate has a 320GB slim drive and a 500GB version. An increased focus on thinner form factor 2.5-inch drives with more capacity options should also start to bring the price down on ultra thin solutions. For example, today a standard Seagate 500GB portable drive costs $76 on Amazon, whereas the Slim version is $94 . I see this gap shrinking as demand for thinner mass storage picks up.
What it means for consumers:
- Even thinner external storage solutions that complement Ultrabook and Tablet users
- More options for consumers in external storage solutions
- Greater flexibility in Ultrabook and Tablet designs to better accommodate external storage
Seagate has paved the way for slim external storage and USM based removable storage working closely with the SATA-IO consortium. It was only a matter of time before such innovation became a standard…and that is good news for everybody.