Seagate’s new drives: 250GB notebook, hardware encrypted desktop

Seagate has announced two new drives today: one for the desktop and another for portables. The new desktop drive, the 1TB 7200 rpm Barracuda FDE, is the first drive of its size to contain an embedded encryption processor that encrypts all the data on the drive as it's written. In other words, it does something similar to Microsoft's BitLocker and Apple's FileVault but in hardware at a level beneath the operating system. 苏州美睫美甲

The Barracuda FDE's DriveTrust encryption requires the user to enter a password prior to the boot-up stage so that the drive can decrypt the user's data, which has been encrypted by AES. This boot password can be paired with other pre-boot, hardware-based security measures, like biometrics and smartcards. Because the drive is unlocked prior to boot and remains accessible in the clear while the machine is powered on, this technology isn't quite yet suited for portables. The aforementioned BitLocker and FileVault solutions are aimed at portable users who worry about having their laptops stolen, and don't want hackers to have access to their data on waking the machine from sleep.

Seagate says that there's a DriveTrust SDK that software vendors can use "to build DriveTrust Technology-enabled applications such as access controls needed to manage encryption keys, passwords and other forms of authentication for large deployments," but this still doesn't suggest to me that the drive's encryption functionality could be readily integrated with a post-boot, login-based solution like FileVault. It's not a stretch to imagine that another revision of DriveTrust aimed at portables is on its way, however, and that it will feature such functionality.

For my part, I can already envision this drive as the basis for a new generation of consumer NAS devices that have a side-panel keypad for unlocking the device's drives on boot. Infrant, are you listening? Because I worry enough about thieves breaking into my home and walking out with my handily portable ReadyNAS NV+ that I jumped through hoops with OS X and various third-party apps to make sure that my nightly backups over my LAN are secure.

250GB of notebook storage ought to be enough for anybody

At 2.5" and 5400RPM the Momentus 5400.4 packs 250GB of storage into a very small space, but that particular combination of density and storage capacity is by no means a first. All the usual suspects (Wester Digital, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Samsung) have already introduced 2.5" drives this size or larger. But Seagate claims this new drive is the first notebook drive to use perpendicular recording, which cuts down on platter surface area to improve power efficiency and failure rates.

Note that Hitachi actually has a 250GB notebook drive with a similar encryption option as the Seagate 1TB desktop drive described above: the Hitachi Travelstar 7K200. Does anyone know if this thing's encryption functionality works in a MacBook Pro? If it does then I want one. I had problems with FileVault and had to disable it.

The Momentus will ship in the fourth quarter of this year, and the Barracuda FDE will ship in early 2008. There's no word on pricing at this time.