Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has unveiled a rugged external drive and some new high capacity storage solutions aimed at audio/video professionals at this year's National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas. The new additions to the G-Technology range support Standard Definition, High Definition, 2K, or 4K post production workflows for Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and a host of other post production software solutions. Interface options include FireWire 800, USB 2.0 and eSATA, with 3TB 7200 RPM Hitachi enterprise and desktop class hard drives playing a central role and various RAID configurations also on offer. The company has also announced that Thunderbolt I/O devices will be landing later in the year.

The new G-Technology range showcased at NAB 2011 kicked off with the G-DRIVE duro portable drive. This tough external storage solution has been designed for Apple Macbook, Macbook Pro or Macbook Air and benefits from a shock-resistant exterior, is pre-formatted for Macs and is Time Machine ready. The unit is bus powered and has FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 connectivity. It's set for a June release and carries a suggested retail of US$149.99 for the 500GB and US$179.99 for the 750GB capacity versions.

Hitachi GST has added eight new G-Technology storage solutions to its range, all of which feature Hitachi 7200 RPM Deskstar or Ultrastar disk drives. The 9.25 x 5.125 x 1.82-inch (235 x 130 x 46 mm) G-DRIVE 3TB has an integrated heatsink for quiet operation, gets two FireWire 800 ports, a 3Gbit eSATA and a USB 2.0 port. Its SATA II hard disk is HFS+ formatted, but can be reformatted for use with Windows systems. This solution has been priced at US$449.99.

The 3TB RAID 1 G-SAFE solution writes data to two mirrored, 3.5-inch SATA II drives to help protect against loss due to hardware failure, and also benefits from 3Gbit eSATA, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 connectivity. The 7.6 x 4.9 x 4-inch (193 x 127 x 102 mm) model has an LCD panel to the front to configure and monitor the unit, a built-in cooling fan, and an internal power supply. This one has been given a US$699.99 price tag.

At US$749.99, the 6TB RAID 0 G-RAID model has been developed to support multi-stream HDV, DVCPro HD, XDCAM HD, ProRes 422 and uncompressed SD workflows. The 9.25 x 5.125 x 2.875-inch (235 x 130 x 73 mm) solution has an integrated thermo-regulated smart fan and benefits from 3Gbit eSATA, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 connectivity.

Introducing the four bay RAID models

The G-Technology four-bay RAID solutions start with the 12TB G-SPEED Q at US$2,299.99. This 8.25 x 4.9 x 6.5-inch (210 x 124 x 166 mm) model has four connectivity interface options – 3Gbit eSATA, FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 – and supports multi-stream SD and compressed HD workflows. There's RAID 0 or RAID 5 support, a smart cooling fan and hot-swappable hard disks.

Next up is the G-SPEED eS at US$2,499.99. If used with the optional G-Tech PCIe 4x RAID controller, the unit can be configured as RAID 0, 1, 5 and JBOD and supports multi-stream SD, ProRes 422 and uncompressed HD workflows. The 8.25 x 4.9 x 6.5-inch (210 x 124 x 166 mm) model includes a 3Gbit eSATA interface and has two smart cooling fans, and benefits from a browser-based user interface for monitoring and configuration.

The last of the four bay units is the 8.25 x 4.9 x 6.5-inch (210 x 124 x 166 mm) G-SPEED eS Pro at US$3,299.99. This model has a miniSAS connectivity interface, a browser-based user interface and supports multi-stream SD, ProRes 422, uncompressed HD & 2K DPX workflows. There is also an optional 2-port PCIe x8 RAID controller with 512MB onboard RAM that supports RAID levels 0,1,3,5 and RAID 6.

Rack it up

The last of the new storage solutions are offered in either 2U 12-bay or 3U 16-bay rack mount configurations. The OS independent G-SPEED eS Pro XL variety supports dual-stream 10-bit uncompressed HD and 2K DPX workflows and has both miniSAS host and expansion interfaces. There's also a browser-based GUI, redundant power supplies and an optional 2-Port mini-SAS PCIe Adapter with IOP RAID Engine.

The G-SPEED FC XL supports multi-stream ProRes 422 and uncompressed SD/HD & 2K DPX workflows and has an SFP to LC SAN ready, dual-channel Fiber Channel interface. There's a browser-based GUI and front panel LCD, dual redundant power supplies and its RAID controller supports RAID levels 0, 1, 3, 5, 6 and JBOD. Both rack mounted solutions can be scaled up to 36TB or 48TB capacities.

All G-SPEED RAID solutions feature Hitachi Ultrastar enterprise-class hard drives.

Hitachi GST also announced a commitment to support Intel's new Thunderbolt I/O technology unveiled by Apple earlier this year, promising transfer speeds up to 12 times faster than FireWire 800. The first products will be launched later in the year.