updated 01:16 pm EDT, Mon September 9, 2013
Claimed to have similar performance of flash memory in tablets
Seagate has announced a way for manufacturers of Android devices to dramatically increase the storage of future devices, using a similar hard drive to the ones it launched in June. The Ultra Mobile is a 2.5-inch hard drive measuring just 5mm (0.2-inches) thick and weighing 3.3 ounces, allowing it to fit inside the tight confines of typical Android tablets, while also offering up to 500GB of storage capacity.
In order to take on flash memory, Seagate has included a firmware called the Mobile Enablement Kit. This covers a wide number of extras not normally associated with hard drives, such as storage caching of frequently used data, adaptive energy optimization, and monitoring various motion and thermal sensors. According to the company, the drive is capable of providing the performance equivalent to that of storage in a 16GB tablet, with the power consumption requirements of a 64GB version, but with a far larger amount of storage available to the user.
It was not revealed by Seagate if any manufacturers have picked up the 5,400RPM drive with 16MB of cache and a SATA 6Gb/s interface, but the extra storage sounds as if it would be useful to those using a tablet as a desktop or notebook replacement. Though Seagate has confirmed the drive will work with Flash, it did not disclose if it was working on other versions that would be compatible with other tablet operating systems, such as Windows RT or Windows 8. Seagate did not reveal the individual cost of the Ultra Mobile hard drive, nor if it will be available to purchase by the public in the future.