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320Gbyte mobile HDD spins at 7,200rpm

Posted: 12 May 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile hard drive? solid state drives? SSD?

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) has started shipment of its fourth-generation 7,200rpm mobile hard drive, the Travelstar 7K320.

The new drive delivers 60 percent higher capacity than its predecessor, while improving application performance by 12 percent and power consumption by 22 percent. The drive's quiet acoustics improve the experience of watching movies or listening to music on a notebook PC. The 2.5-inch drive is offered with optional bulk data encryption (BDE) for users wanting increased data security. Hitachi also plans to ship enhanced-availability (EA) models, designed to provide high-capacity storage for low-duty-cycle, 24x7 applications.

The performance attributes of the Travelstar 7K320 allow consumers to opt for a full-featured notebook or compact desktop model, while still achieving all the capacity and performance typically associated with a more traditional desktop PC. The new drives bring forth a number of essential features that are in strong demand from manufacturers of notebooks, compact desktops, gaming systems, blade servers and video surveillance systems. Some of these attributes include best-in-class operating shock protection of 400Gs, 5,400rpm-equivalent power consumption and quiet acoustics.

"As operating systems have grown more complex, users have struggled with an overall decrease in system performance," said Larry Swezey, director, consumer and commercial HDD, Hitachi GST. "Solid state drives (SSD) have yet to deliver an overall increase in speed, and certainly not at an affordable price. The 7,200rpm speed of the Travelstar 7K320 provides an improved overall experience, at the capacities users want and at a far lower cost than SSD."

Gartner is predicting worldwide mobile PC shipments will surpass global desk-based PC shipments in the second half of 2009. This evolution has been driven by the ever improving performance-for-price of mobile PCs, relative to desktop PCs. Hitachi believes the greater availability of 7,200rpm hard drives will help accelerate this trend, as more users realize the benefits of combining desktop-class performance with the convenience and portability of a notebook.

Advanced features
The Travelstar 7K320 includes many features that translate into very tangible benefits for users, including a 320Gbyte capacity for storing approximately 80hrs of high-definition video, 320hrs of standard video, 100 movies, 80,000 4-minute MP3s or 160 games.

According to Hitachi GST, the 7,200rpm provides any OS with a noticeable advantage in boot times and application performance. A SATA 3Gbit/s interface and fast media transfer rates provide faster file copying and document retrieval, better graphics and improved game performance.

The drive is also said to provide best-in-class operating shock protection of 400Gs to minimize the effects of rough handling and vibration as well as power utilization on par with Hitachi's 5,400rpm mobile drives, so that users can enjoy more "unplugged" notebook computing time. The drive also features quiet acoustics provide a richer audio listening experience for music, movies and games

Protect your data
The Travelstar 7K320 features optional BDE, a capability that Hitachi has offered in its mobile hard drives since the start of 2007. Previously, data on a hard drive could be protected either through software-based encryption or a system-level password. Hard drive level encryption provides improved performance and a higher level of security than any of the previously available methods.

When employing bulk data encryption, data is scrambled using a key as it is being written to the disk and then descrambled with the key as it is retrieved. Thus, data encryption at the hard-drive level represents a more sophisticated approach of securing users' data and is generally considered to be virtually impenetrable. Another benefit is that it speeds and simplifies the drive re-deployment process. By deleting the encryption key, the data on the drive is rendered unreadable, thereby eliminating the need for time-consuming data-overwrite.

BDE models ship exclusively with a SATA 1.5Gbit/s interface.

The Travelstar 7K320 is now shipping to customers worldwide. The enhanced-availability version of the drive is expected to ship in Q3 08.

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