SmartAlign Technology for Advanced Format hard drives

DQW Bureau
08 Feb 2011

the way to a
hassle-free adoption of the 4K sector standard

It is
inevitable. All major hard drive companies have agreed to adopt a new
sector size, known as Advanced Format, as the new standard defined
and maintained by IDEMA (The International Disk Drive Equipment and
Materials Association). The Advanced Format standard mandates that
hard drive sector sizes migrate from the current 512 bytes to 4096
bytes, or 4K. This change will help the industry deliver higher
capacity points along with improved error correction as a result of
improvements in format efficiency. Hard drive companies have agreed
that all new laptop and desktop hard drive platforms shipped after
January 1, 2011, will be Advanced Format compatible.

transition-hard drive partition alignment

the transition to Advanced Format hard drives is good for customers
and manufacturers alike, the transition requires knowledge on the
topic of hard drive partition alignment. For example, Advanced Format
hard drives use 4K sectors on the media, but still need to
communicate to computers with legacy 512-byte sector logic. This is
called 512-byte emulation and requires that physical hard drive
partitions be aligned to logical partitions used by the computer.
When this does not happen, partitions are said to be misaligned and
hard drive performance is negatively impacted.

hassle-free solution

now, the only solution to managing these misalignment conditions was
to deploy software utilities to identify and realign partitions. This
process requires extra time and process steps during hard drive

SmartAlign technology resolves Advanced Format misalignment
conditions while preserving hard drive performance. Unlike other
Advanced Format hard drives, Seagate drives with SmartAlign
technology do not require time-consuming software utilities.

Features and benefits

SmartAlign technology is a utility-free solution, saving time and
extra steps in hard drive integration.

SmartAlign technology maintains consistent hard drive performance,
even when it encounters hard drive partition misalignment conditions.

SmartAlign technology allows for a hassle-free adoption of 4K
technology, an inevitable transition everyone will need to make.

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