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New Hitachi HDD Could Lead to 4TB and 5TB

By - Source: Xbit | B 38 comments

Hitachi's new 2.5-inch HDD crams 500 GB onto one platter.

Thursday Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) announced its new 2.5-inch, 5,400 RPM Travelstar Z-series family of hard drives. According to the company, the 500 GB version offers the industry's highest capacity for a single-platter, 7-mm thick hard drive. This is accomplished by using the sixth-generation perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) platters which feature a higher areal density (636Gb/inch2) than current hard drives.

With that said, Hitachi's new drive could pave the way to 3.5-inch HDD capacities higher than the current 3 TB limit. This would require using 3.5-inch platters with 636Gb/inch2 areal density, providing around 1 TB each. It's quite possible that within the next twelve months, we could see a 4-platter HDD offering a massive 4 TB capacity whereas a 5-platter HDD could offer 5 TB. For 2.5-inch form factor drives, consumers could see future models with 1 TB or 1.5 TB capacities using two and three platters.

As for Hitachi's new line of Travelstar Z5K500 drives, the series offers 500 GB, 320 GB and 250 GB models. Other feature include the previously reported 5,400 RPM spindle speed, a Serial ATA-300 interface and an 8 MB cache buffer. The drives also feature 1.8 watts read/write power, 0.55 watts low power idle, 5.5-ms average latency and 13-ms average read seek time.

"Travelstar Z-series family features optional bulk data encryption (BDE) for hard drive level data security," the company said, "When employing BDE, data is scrambled using a key as it is being written to the disk and then de-scrambled with the key as it is retrieved. The Travelstar Z5K500 drive family will also be offered in Enhanced Availability (EA) models in capacities of 320 GB and 500 GB, which are designed and fine-tuned for applications needing “always-on” protection in 24x7, low transaction environments including blade servers, network routers, video surveillance and compact RAID systems."

The Travelstar Z5K500 family will be shipping to select distributors this month. The company is also shipping an external version of the 2.5-inch Travelstar Z5K500 500 GB drive in early Q1 2011. Called the G-Technology G-Drive slim, its massive 500 GB provides an ideal storage solution for Apple's Macbook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

"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 games," the company said. "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."

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  • 3 Hide
    warezme , December 17, 2010 8:53 PM
    yo drive is so fat, when it hauls ass..., it takes two trips
  • 0 Hide
    dgingeri , December 17, 2010 9:16 PM
    I want to get 8 of these 500GB laptop drives and RAID6 them together. That's a fast 3TB array. I'd love to have that for my main storage.
  • 3 Hide
    apache_lives , December 17, 2010 9:34 PM
    dgingeriI want to get 8 of these 500GB laptop drives and RAID6 them together. That's a fast 3TB array. I'd love to have that for my main storage.


    Ever heard of an SSD?
  • Display all 38 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    nevertell , December 17, 2010 9:40 PM
    A single SSD might even be faster, but if it brakes down, it's down. And how much would a 3 tb ssd cost anyway ?
  • 3 Hide
    belardo , December 17, 2010 9:40 PM
    Not as fast as SSD... but the amount of storage is a lot more. But 2.5
    " drives are not made for massive RAID... 4 2TB drives would cost less and have better performance than these 2.5" drives with far more storage space.

  • 0 Hide
    nforce4max , December 17, 2010 9:45 PM
    4tb might last me a year tops before I am out of space again.
  • 3 Hide
    retrig , December 17, 2010 10:01 PM
    dgingeriI want to get 8 of these 500GB laptop drives and RAID6 them together. That's a fast 3TB array. I'd love to have that for my main storage.

    They're only 5400 RPM drives though.
  • 3 Hide
    aaron88_7 , December 17, 2010 10:02 PM
    apache_livesEver heard of an SSD?

    I don't even want to think about how much it would cost for that much storage in SSD form!
  • -3 Hide
    Darkk , December 17, 2010 10:33 PM
    Sorry I do not trust Hitachi drives even it was given to me for free. They may lead the way for new technologies but when it comes to relibablity I don't trust them.

    Darkk
  • 2 Hide
    joytech22 , December 17, 2010 10:38 PM
    aaron88_7I don't even want to think about how much it would cost for that much storage in SSD form!


    I think 1TB alone cost's $3000 USD!
  • 0 Hide
    jhansonxi , December 17, 2010 10:41 PM
    There have been drives with up to 10 platters before. I had a pair in a RAID 1 array (IBM Ultrastar 36ZX). With 10 platters the heat and the 10TB of space would both be ridiculous.
  • -2 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , December 17, 2010 10:48 PM
    aaron88_7I don't even want to think about how much it would cost for that much storage in SSD form!

    You could probably buy a Prius for the same price.

    Really, I don't even want to think about Read/Write times on such a large drive. Heaven forbid I format the whole thing, I think my PSU would explode halfway through the process, which might take a week just for that.
  • 1 Hide
    jadeite , December 17, 2010 11:23 PM
    This is getting annoying. How about let's stop with the creative headlines? This announcement is about some dinky 2.5" drives a tenth that size so why is the headline something completely different? Besides, it is naive to perform a simple extrapolation of a 1 platter 2.5" drive to figure the capacity of a multi-platter 3.5". There are mechanical, chemical, electrical, cost, scheduling, and numerous other factors that impact the areal density you aren't considering at all. Please let the hard drive guys work out and at least preview their technology instead of headlining speculation.
  • 2 Hide
    segio526 , December 17, 2010 11:24 PM
    dgingeriI want to get 8 of these 500GB laptop drives and RAID6 them together. That's a fast 3TB array. I'd love to have that for my main storage.

    Why RAID 6, you afraid you'll lose 2 at once? Do a RAID 5 and have 3.5TB
  • 3 Hide
    deadly4u , December 17, 2010 11:56 PM
    apache_livesEver heard of an SSD?


    Ever heard of high capacity, affordable drives?
  • 0 Hide
    dEAne , December 18, 2010 1:09 AM
    High capacity, faster access, low profile, USB powered, reliable and affordable? - What else do we want?

    Maybe it become a standard to put an OS and program files to a SSD and storage files to a HDD.
  • 0 Hide
    segio526 , December 18, 2010 1:58 PM
    How about killing off BIOS so we can boot off of one of these...although, short stroking a 5TB drive sounds like it would work nicely. Give yourself 1TB and you might get close to SSD performance!
  • 1 Hide
    LMF5000 , December 18, 2010 2:00 PM
    Ahh, I remember the days of Windows 95 when I used to run all my programs off a single 3GB hard drive and we did our homework using Encarta Encyclopedia instead of the internet :) 
  • 1 Hide
    fayzaan , December 18, 2010 3:01 PM
    3gb was huge at the win95 times! I remember my epic Pentium 1 75mhz computer!!! such power! then afterwards I remember getting a custom built 700mhz Pentium 3 with MMX Technology!! yea!!! and then I got like some 1.6mhz or somethin and on Windows ME...BLEH!
  • 1 Hide
    cookoy , December 18, 2010 3:11 PM
    never tried Hitachi drives before. maybe i'll give the Travelstar a try for my next external backup drive.
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