Seagate Technology (NYSE: STX) pushed its lead even further in the global Hard Disk Drive (HDD) market, while getting a head start in next-generation recording technology, new research finds.

Amid strong global growth of hard drive shipments compared to the previous quarter, Seagate grew 16.4 percent versus 15.7 percent for the drive market overall, reported market research firm iSuppli on Wednesday. Seagate currently maintains a 34.3 percent hard drive market share, with its nearest competitor, Western Digital(NYSE: WDC), capturing 19.9 percent.

The company is also establishing an early lead in emerging drive technology.

About 10 percent of Seagate HDDs sold during the quarter used perpendicular recording technology, making the company the volume leader in this emerging sector, said Krishna Chander, senior analyst for storage at iSuppli.

Perpendicular recording is a new information storage technique that aligns memory bits on a disk vertically, perpendicular to the disk, instead of longitudinally as in traditional drives. This allows additional room on a disk to pack more data, allowing for drives with higher capacities.

In the third quarter, about 5 percent of all drives shipped, approximately 5.7 million units, used the new recording technology, iSuppli said. Seagate shipped about 3.9 million such drives.

“The stakes are high in the perpendicular race. Those suppliers that fail to convert quickly enough to perpendicular technology will be hopelessly behind in the race to increase areal densities at an annual growth rate of 40 percent and will get squeezed out of the market,” Chander said.

The research firm expects Seagate to lead the transition with about 50 percent of its shipments using the technology in the fourth quarter, and 75 percent for all of 2007.

Seagate shares rose 5 cents, or 0.19 percent, to $26.15 in Thursday afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.