Seagate ditches Barracuda LP line, plans Barracuda XT

Seagate has announced that it will cease production of 5,400RPM Barracuda drives, making all hard drives in the series spin at 7,200RPM as standard.

The company's announcement, via ARN, comes as it has developed improved read/write head technology, increasing areal density without the usual cost in physical speed that comes of having to read bits that are increasingly tightly packed.

While the news will be welcomed by performance enthusiasts, it's not all good: slower 5,400RPM drives, which generate less heat, produce less noise and typically draw less power than their faster equivalents, are popular in audiovisual and server farm markets.

In addition to a range-wide speed boost, Seagate has also announced plans to release a new Barracude XT line to include NAND flash storage. While the company currently produces a range of so-called 'hybrid drives' - which automatically copy frequently accessed information to a small flash device to improve speed and allow the physical platters to power down - the Barracuda XT hybrids will offer up to 3TB of storage, far more than the existing Momentus XT line.

The company has yet to offer a hint as to when the new products will appear in the channel, however, and with a chunk of the company's hard drive production taking place in flood-striken Thailand, it could be a while before buyers can get their hands on the drives.