Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hitachi unveils new ultra-thin hard drive

Japanese electronics giant Hitachi Data Storage Ltd just unveiled what it claims is the industry's highest density, single-platter ultra-thin hard disk drive that has an areal density of about 636 Gigs per inch, almost one-hundred Gigs per square inch more than its closest rival, Western Digital. It took Hitachi more than six months to come up with the new device.
Hitachi's new 2.5 inch Travelstar Z5-K-500 hard drive is designed specifically for laptops, and measures only 7 mm in height.
Hitachi claims its new drive is the industry's highest capacity, single-platter hard disk.
The Travelstar HD comes in 500 GB, 320 GB and 250 GB models, and is the 2nd generation of Hitachi products to use the company's patented AFD (Advanced Format Drive), which increases the physical sector size on drives from 512 bytes to 4,096 (4K) bytes, thereby improving drive capacity and error correction capabilities.
Western Digital was first to the market last year with a 1 TB laptop drive.
However, WD's Scorpio Blue drive contained up to three 333 GB capacity platters and measured almost double Hitachi's new Travelstar at 12.5 mm in height, and weighted about 40 percent more.
Then Seagate and Toshiba followed a few months later with their own three-platter, 12.5 mm 1 TB drives, along with two-platter 750 GB 9.5mm-high drives.

Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing at Hitachi says "Razor thin and light devices are, without argument, a rapidly growing trend and not just in laptops."
"In order for these innovative designs to live up to their true potential, they need rugged, reliable high-capacity hard drives that can withstand the rigors of a mobile environment and satisfy the huge storage demands of their end users, and Hitachi continues to deliver," added Collins.
Hitachi added that its new drive surpasses per-gigabyte cost advantages that other 2.5-in and 1.8-in drives had offered in the past.
It also exceeds the price per gigabyte when compared to solid-state drives.
Hitachi's new Travelstar drives have an 8 MB cache and a Serial ATA (SATA) 3 Gbit per sector interface.
Hitachi's new drives are aimed at laptop and system makers who can use the thinner drives to differentiate product lines by utilizing space savings to produce much smaller devices, add battery life, increase shock robustness, and improve internal airflow.
The Travelstar Z-series of drives also offer an optional bulk data encryption feature, which allows the drives to be set to encrypt all data stored on them.
The new drives are expected to ship to distributors as early as next week.