Hitachi Travelstar superslim 500GB mobile hard drive is just 7mm

Hitachi has upped the ante for hard-drive manufacturers going into 2011 with their new line of Travelstar hard-drives, cramming 500GB into a 7mm package.

Shaving 2mm of the z-height of a hard-drive may not sound like very much, but with most standard consumer drives weighing in at 9.5mm, the Travelstar is officially the highest-capacity drive ever produced in the form-factor. Hitachi’s claims give the Travelstar line the highest gigabyte-per-cubic-millimetre ratio when compared to SSD, 9.5mm, 2.5in or 1.8in HDD. This more-efficient storage is paramount as laptop manufacturers continue to push for smaller and thinner hardware in their own right.

Travelstars will spin at 5,400rpm, have available capacities of 250GB, 320GB and 500GB and leverage the increasingly-used larger 4k sector size. Expect these drives to connect with SATA 3Gbps and ship with 8MB cache.

For their own products, Hitachi plans to remodel their line of G-Drive Slim USB external hard-drives with the new Travelstars for Q1 2011. In the meantime, you should start seeing standalone Travelstar Z5K500 drives before the end of the year.


HITACHI GST SHIPS INDUSTRY’S FIRST, ONE-DISK 7MM 500GB HARD DRIVE

Hitting the Industry Sweet Spot in the 2.5-inch Hard Drive Market, New Thin and Rugged Travelstar™ Z5K500 Drive Enables Innovative Designs for Ultra-portable CE Devices, Laptops and Netbooks, and Compact Industrial Systems;
G-Technology™ G-DRIVE Slim™ Ships with the New Travelstar Z5K500 drive, Making it the Thinnest 500GB, 2.5-inch External Hard Drive in the World
SAN JOSE, Calif., December 16, 2010–Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) today announced its new 500GB, 5,400 RPM Travelstar Z5K500 drive – the industry’s highest capacity, one-disk, 7 millimeter (mm) z-height hard disk drive (HDD).

According to IDC¹, 500GB, mobile 2.5-inch drives represent 22 percent of the market today, with this capacity growing 42 percent annually from 2010 to 2013. Offered in a complete family of 500GB, 320GB and 250GB, which satisfies more than 77 percent of today’s capacity needs in the portable PC market¹, these drives are the industry’s only second-generation family of 5,400 RPM, 7mm z-height drives, which are designed as a direct replacement for standard 2.5-inch, 9.5mm drives in everything from external drives to laptops, netbooks and blade servers. All this combined puts the new Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 drive family in the industry sweet spot of opportunity in the mobile 2.5-inch market.

With its slim profile and high capacities, the Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 drive family delivers the best cost per gigabyte and gigabyte per cubic millimeter (GB/mm3) when compared to solid state drives (SSD), and 2.5-inch and 1.8-inch 9.5mm HDDs, offering a compelling value proposition for OEMs and system integrators. With the broadest line of 7,200 and 5,400 RPM 7mm drives now at their fingertips, Hitachi customers can differentiate product lines by utilizing space savings to produce thinner devices, add battery capacity, increase shock robustness, or improve internal airflow – all better uses of the volume in a system than shipping a partially “empty” 9.5mm 2.5-inch hard drive with only one disk.

Delivering the right balance of power and acoustics, the drives feature 1.8 watts (W) read/write power and 0.55W low power idle, and deliver a nearly silent operation at 1.9 idle / 2.1 seek bels, which is quieter than most ambient noise in a household. All Travelstar Z5K500 drives feature an 8MB cache and a Serial ATA 3Gb per second interface. They are also Hitachi’s second generation Advanced Format drive, which increases the physical sector size on HDDs from 512 bytes to 4,096 (4K) bytes, thereby improving drive capacity and error correction capabilities.

All Hitachi Z-series 7mm drives feature common connectors and mounting points for standard integration into existing systems, and enable greater design flexibility to differentiate and meet market demands for new thinner, lighter and more robust devices.

Security, Reliability, Availability
Travelstar Z-series family features optional bulk data encryption (BDE) for hard drive level data security. When employing BDE, data is scrambled using a key as it is being written to the disk and then descrambled with the key as it is retrieved. The Travelstar Z5K500 drive family will also be offered in Enhanced Availability (EA) models in capacities of 320GB and 500GB, which are designed and fine-tuned for applications needing “always-on” protection in 24×7, low transaction environments including blade servers, network routers, video surveillance and compact RAID systems.

The Travelstar Z5K500 family will be shipping to select distributors in December.

New 500GB Travelstar Z5K500 Enables Sleek, Elegant G-Technology G-DRIVE slim
The G-Technology G-DRIVE slim leverages the new rugged, 7mm Travelstar Z5K500 drive, making it the thinnest 500GB, 2.5-inch external hard drive in the world. With its ultra thin profile and sleek design that complements the Apple® Macbook®, MacBook™ Pro or Macbook Air™, users now have increased capacity in a stylish footprint to help them move, work and play with their digital content. Now at 500GB, the drive has enough room to store Up to 125 hours of high-definition video, 500 hours of standard video, 178 movies, 125,000 4-minute songs or 250 games². Formatted for Macs with simple plug n’ play connectivity, the G-DRIVE slim is Time Machine® ready for added backup protection. It is USB-powered, so there is no need to carry around an extra power cord.

The 500GB G-Technology G-DRIVE slim will be shipping to retailers in early Q1 2011. Pricing has not been set.

“Ultra thin and light devices are, without argument, a growing trend. 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 portable environment and satisfy the storage demands of their end users, and Hitachi continues to deliver,” said Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing at Hitachi GST. “As the industry’s only 500GB one disk product and the only second generation 7mm product family, Hitachi continues to push the bar higher, and is leading the shift from 9.5mm 2.5-inch drives to 7mm 2.5-inch drives across a broad range of market segments.”

About Hitachi Global Storage Technologies
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) develops advanced hard disk drives, enterprise-class solid state drives, innovative external storage solutions and services used to store, preserve and manage the world’s most valued data. Founded by the pioneers of hard drives, Hitachi GST provides high-value storage for a broad range of market segments, including Enterprise, Desktop, Mobile Computing, Consumer Electronics and Personal Storage. Hitachi GST was established in 2003 and maintains its U.S. headquarters in San Jose, California. For more information, please visit the company’s website at http://www.hitachigst.com.
About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 360,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2009 (ended March 31, 2010) consolidated revenues totaled 8,968 billion yen ($96.4 billion). Hitachi will focus more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes information and telecommunication systems, power systems, environmental, industrial and transportation systems, and social and urban systems, as well as the sophisticated materials and key devices that support them. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at http://www.hitachi.com.

¹IDC WW 2010-2014 HDD Forecast Update, IDC Doc# 226082, December 2010.
²Actual storage may vary depending on the compression rate applied. Capacities may not be combined.
One GB is equal to one billion bytes, and one TB equals 1,000 GB (one trillion bytes). Actual capacity will vary depending on operating environment and formatting.
Travelstar and G-DRIVE Slim are trademarks of Hitachi GST. Hitachi trademarks are authorized for use in countries and jurisdictions in which Hitachi has the right to market the brands. Hitachi is not liable for third parties’ unauthorized use of Hitachi trademarks. All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.

[Hitachi via PR]


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