Seagate has unveiled a new hard drive designed specifically for tablets that promises to deliver a wealth of storage with the same performance that flash memory delivers. Known as the Ultra Mobile HDD, Seagate's latest uses software to boost performance on Android tablets by using a caching technique.

In a statement on the subject, Seagate president and CEO Steve Luczo said coupling an ultra-thin, high-capacity HDD with software designed to optimize integration into tablets at a low price has allowed them to deliver a truly ground-breaking solution. It's something he believes will allow the industry to rethink the mobile market.

The HDD is 5mm thin and weighs just 3.3 ounces (about the same as a light bulb). At 500GB, which is seven times more than a traditional 64GB tablet, it is said to be enough to hold up to 100,000 photos, 62 hours of high-definition video and movies or 125,000 songs. The drive uses the SATA 6GB/sec interface with 16MB cache and a 5,400 RPM spindle speed.

The software uses enhanced motion sensor and thermal monitoring algorithms to control drive access and avoid conditions that might damage the drive. It also uses Seagate's own Zero Gravity Sensor for better shock management. The company says the drive is so well insulated that in many cases, a dropped device's screen would break before the hard drive.

The Seagate Ultra Mobile HDD will be available separately and as part of the Seagate Mobile Enablement Kit. No word yet on which manufacturers will be the first to implement the new technology, however.