Seagate unveils certified GoFlex storage system for third-party manufacturers

Continuing the Vision of Interoperability and Removable Cartridge Storage, Seagate and Partners Showcase Concept Products at CES

Driving a new era of how people consume their digital content, Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) today announced, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a new program to allow third-party companies to incorporate slots on their products to support removable GoFlex™ external hard drives. First introduced in May of 2010 , the GoFlex™ family is the next evolution of consumer external hard drives providing the ability to use an assortment of storage products and interfaces to correspond with consumer’s needs. The Certified GoFlex™ Storage System concept products on display range from media players and set-top boxes to computers and televisions, and each will incorporate a slot to accept an ultra-portable drive compatible with the Certified GoFlex Storage System. This group of third-party prototype products underscores the growth of digital media consumption on an increasing number of consumer electronic products. The Certified GoFlex Storage System will provide a seamless method by which people can copy, record, access, share and enjoy more of the music, photos and videos they crave on a wider range of devices.

The Certified GoFlex Storage System initiative is a certification process whereby Seagate will qualify products from participating companies to incorporate slots that meet the specifications of accepting ultra-portable drives that meet the Certified GoFlex Storage System standard. The Certified GoFlex Storage System will establish placement of both slot-based consumer electronics devices as well as certification of third-party external storage modules. Seagate’s certification also endorses the soon to be established SATA – IO Universal Storage Module (USM™) specification.

“When Seagate first introduced the GoFlex™ storage family last year, our objective was two pronged: first, address the three major hurdles of storage adoption -- interface flexibility, operating system freedom and enjoyment of content beyond the compute environment. Secondly, Seagate wishes to expand the use of storage beyond the typical use-case scenario of back up and migration of files for the computer,” said Patrick Connolly, vice president and general manager for Seagate Retail. “The Certified GoFlex™ Storage System is the next step in realizing this vision and establishing GoFlex™ drives as the next generation of recordable media.”

Since the GoFlex ultra-portable drives are also standardized on the new SATA USM™ specification, third-party manufacturers can build GoFlex certified products to accept a 2.5-inch ultra-portable external hard drive. These third-party products will help transform the GoFlex ultra-portable drives from an external storage device to an easy-to-use, detachable storage module that will enable consumers to access digital content from a variety of consumer electronic devices. With this initiative, Seagate is actively involved in leading the shift of digital media consumption from mobile and computing environments to the living room using home entertainment devices. These Certified for GoFlex Storage System third-party products will, for the first time, allow consumers to make choices based on their own storage needs.

The SATA USM specification is a standard specification to accept a complete, powered external storage device into consumer electronic devices. Modules designed according to the SATA USM specification will enable consumers to instantly access their music, movies, photos and other content from a variety of consumer electronics products, and to seamlessly transfer content between devices.

“The growing number of consumer electronics product types with embedded storage is allowing hard disk drive manufacturers to expand into new markets. As they expand beyond their traditional home computer markets, drive manufacturers are pursuing embedded storage solutions in products other than personal computers,” said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst with Parks Associates. “Seagate Technology’s emphasis on targeting consumer electronics such as digital video recorders, gaming devices, digital music players, and digital cameras has allowed it to expand sales of hard drives and provide consumers with greater flexibility when it comes to consuming, sharing, saving and enjoying their content.”

Seagate will highlight a variety of applications enabled by USM devices using the Certified GoFlex Storage System. Additionally, several consumer electronics manufacturers will be showcasing their Certified GoFlex Storage System concept products at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The showcase will include a television, notebook computer, desktop PC, plug computer, DVR and docking station. The companies showcasing these new prospective product capabilities include: Antec , GIEC , Hi-Sense , Ionics and Thermaltake .

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