Seagate announced Monday that it is shipping its newest U Series disc drive, the first offering up to 80GB on just two platters and a record-breaking areal density of 32.6Gbits per square inch. The new U Series is the sixth generation of the company’s popular hard drive. According to Seagate, the new U Series spins up faster than ever, improving time-to-ready by 35 per cent over previous generations to improve PC boot-up time and features internal transfer rates of up to 54.5MBps, an 8.9-msec seek time, the largest cache in its class at 2MB, and the Ultra ATA/100 interface for external burst transfer rates up to 100MBps. With Seagate’s own 3D Defense System and ‘sound barrier technology’, the U Series offers the best combination of ruggedness, performance and quiet operation for mainstream PC and CE applications says the company. “As the first 40GB-per-disc product shipping in volume, U Series changes the economics of high-capacity storage with 60 and 80 GB packed onto only two discs. At the same time, it provides the best value for today’s popular PC capacities,” said Brian Dexheimer, Seagate executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service. “We've worked closely with our PC customers to meet their needs with the best combination of performance, acoustics and reliability. As a leader in research and development, now we've also leaped to the industry's highest areal density using stable, proven technologies.”