High capacity ultra thin laptop drives unveiled by Hitachi GST


June 2, 2010

Hitachi GST has not only squeezed 320GB into a super slim 7mm, 2.5 inch driver form factor but has also introduced an industry-leading 7200RPM model too

Hitachi GST has not only squeezed 320GB into a super slim 7mm, 2.5 inch driver form factor but has also introduced an industry-leading 7200RPM model too

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As portable computing devices get thinner and thinner, component manufacturers appear to be in a perpetual state of one-upmanship. In the latest round, Hitachi has put its HDDs on a crash diet and announced a range of super slim drives available in storage sizes up to 320GB. With a z-height of just 7mm (0.275 inch), the Z-series family of Travelstar and CinemaStar drives also offer low power consumption and low noise.

The new Z-series of HDDs from Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has upped the super slim storage bar somewhat by squeezing 320GB into a slender 7mm z-height, 2.5 inch drive. Designed as "a direct replacement for today’s standard 2.5-inch, 9.5mm hard drives" the new family of drives features common connectors and standard mounting points to help with integration into existing systems whilst also allowing the creation of new, slimmer and lighter device designs.

Leading the field is the speedy 7200RPM Travelstar Z7K320, which benefits from a 16Mb cache, low power draw (consuming 1.8W read/write and 0.8W idle) and low operating noise. The slightly slower 5400RPM Travelstar Z5K320 has an 8MB cache and even lower power consumption of 1.6W read/write and 0.55W idle. The 250GB and 320GB models in both families will be offered with enhanced-availability optimization, specially configured for applications needing constant access to data such as blade servers, network routers and compact RAID systems.

The Travelstar range is also available with optional hard drive level data protection in the form of self encrypting drive functionality. The drives support pre-boot authentication and have been designed to meet the Trusted Computing Group Opal Storage Security specification.

Optimized for audio and video devices such as set-top boxes and personal video recorders, the CinemaStar Z5K320 family is possibly the quietest spin around with an idle hum of just 1.9 bels (19dB) with seek only marginally louder at 2 bels (20dB). The drives spin at 5400RPM, have an 8MB cache, better protection against power fluctuation and enhanced Thermal Fly-Height Control for improved error rates.

Device manufacturers are currently sampling the new drives, which are scheduled for mass production in July and August. Expect to see them in new portable gadgets around then.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

With HD vedio giving us 4X the info, the present 250GB laptop hard-drives will need to grow accordingly... Don\'t worry because come July/August, these 1TB drives will be available!.

If you think this is impressive, wait untill nano-technology becomes commercially available!!!

With this present Hitachi designed hard-drive technology, you will be able to get 9TB in the space of a cigarette packet... and probably more artificial memory than is housed in an average brain... \'scary!\'


Harpal Sahota: 2nd June 2010

Harpal Sahota

Being in a shitty mood today... irritable about most things tech - beyond a hammer and a nail;

Sure this stuff is impressive, but I\'d really like to see things designed for reliability and longevity - instead of the latest \"leaf thin\" HARD DRIVE....

In fact I\'d much rather see my hard drives designed to be bomb proof like a tank....

Of course unless you like spending your time reinstalling systems all day.

Mr Stiffy

I wonder how easy it would be to link up a few of these and have major storage fitted into a standard desk tower drive bay? The power needs should be no problem!

The Skud

Spinning platters will be obsolete in a few years, thanks to SSD\'s. I was going ot upgrade the 500GB drive in my MacBook but have decided to wait a year or two until prices drop on SSD\'s, and they will. Hitachi needs to get on the bandwagon and spend more time on SSD\'s instead of thinner plattered drives.

Richard Edmonds
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