Western Digital to offer 6 GByte 1" harddrive

Lake Forest (CA) - Western Digital (WD) announced today that the company will join the market for miniature hard drives with a family of 1" drives for handheld consumer devices such as digital cameras, PDAs and portable media players.

The company plans to ship the products as 3,600 rpm with capacities of up to 6 GByte in the second quarter of this year. The drives will be offered with the standard CF II interface, a power manager and anti-skip technology that supports uninterrupted audio and video playback, the company said.

According to estimates by market research firm Gartner, sub-2.5" drives are becoming ubiquitous in harddrive-based MP3 players and will be built into at least eight percent of all cellphones by 2008. More than eight million units were shipped in 2004, up from 903,000 units in 2003. The compound annual growth rate for 1" hard drives should exceed 85 percent through 2008, Gartner said.

Seagate recently also announced its first products for the 1" market. 2.5 GByte and 5 GByte drives are priced at $250 and $160, respectively. Hitachi said that it will increase the capacity of its 1" harddrive to as much as 10 GByte by the end of this year.

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