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Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Hitachi Boosts Speed for Notebook Hard Drive

Hitachi has set a new notebook performance record, announcing today worldwide availability of the fastest 2.5" HDD for mobile applications.

The 7200 RPM Travelstar(TM) 7K100 is first to market with desktop-class performance on a 2.5-inch hard drive for notebook systems such as Dell's Inspiron XPS Gen 2 system.

With 100 gigabytes (GB) of storage capacity, the Travelstar 7K100 is bigger, faster and stronger than its award-winning predecessor, creating an industrial-strength notebook hard drive. Hitachi's second-generation 7200 RPM 2.5-inch product offers a 67-percent storage-capacity increase and a 33-percent performance improvement (sustained data transfer rate) over the previous generation. In addition, a 50-percent improvement in operating shock tolerance gives users greater system reliability and data integrity. Within its class, the 7K100 features industry-leading 300 Gs and 1000 Gs operating and non-operating shock specifications, respectively.

"Hitachi created the 7200 RPM notebook hard drive segment in 2003 to give mobile users a performance rush; based on strong demand, we are now bringing an even more powerful product to the market," said Bill Healy, senior vice president, product strategy and marketing, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "We've learned much about the 7200 RPM notebook hard drives over the past several years and have applied that experience to create the quintessential performance product."

Users of notebook systems that employ the Travelstar 7K100 as the leading-edge storage component will experience a marked performance improvement in a variety of computing activities: Windows XP start-up, application loading, copying files and general HDD usage (playing an MP3 file, viewing pictures, browsing the Internet, etc.). Hitachi's benchmark testing of the 7K100 during these activities shows a 25-percent faster performance over the fastest competitive 2.5-inch 5400 RPM drive on the market (comparisons were made to 5400 RPM drives as no competitive 7200 RPM 2.5-inch drives were available for testing at time of announcement).

Desktop-Class Performance

The heightened level of performance, higher capacity and ruggedness on the 7K100 are intended to give greater mobility to power users who have traditionally looked to desktop systems for premium functionality. These include PC gamers, graphic arts designers, digital video editors, computer-aided-design engineers, as well as general users who demand the latest and best that notebook technology has to offer.

The Travelstar 7K100 significantly outperforms competitive notebook hard drives as well as some 3.5-inch desktop drives. In fact, Hitachi benchmark testings have shown as much as a 7-percent faster performance rate when compared against 7200 RPM desktop drives with a 2-megabyte cache.

More For Speed

As the architect for the performance-focused 7200 RPM 2.5-inch hard drive segment, Hitachi has been working to grow the market and seed acceptance among users. Since mid-2003 when the category was launched, Hitachi has seen a notable shift toward higher-performing notebook systems due to a growing sophistication in the user base and to the aggressive movement to wireless computing. In response, Hitachi is actively planning to support this growth trend and expects to significantly expand its production of 7200 RPM 2.5-inch drives by the end of 2005.

To provide a broader set of options for customers, Hitachi has increased the number of capacity points in its 7200 RPM offering to 60, 80 and 100 GB. The Travelstar 7K100 PATA model is now shipping to customers worldwide in all capacities. Hitachi will also deliver a SATA version with 1.5 Gbits/second interface transfer rate(3) in July. In addition, an enhanced availability (E7K100) model, offering 24x7 availability for blade server applications, will follow later this summer. All Travelstar 7K100 models are ROHS compliant.

White papers related to Hitachi's hard drive products, including 2.5-inch hard drive technologies, are available at the following web site:

Technical Specifications

Travelstar 7K100 & E7K100
60/80/100 GB
9.5 mm in height
7200 rpm
66/66/81 billion bits per square inch maximum areal density
2/2/2 glass disk platter(s)
3/4/4 GMR recording head(s)
1000 G/1ms non-operating shock
300 G/2ms operating shock
4.2 ms average latency
10 ms average read time/11 ms average write time
1.1 W active idle (PATA); 1.3 W (SATA) (not applicable for E7K100)
0.85W low-power idle (PATA); 1.0 W (SATA) (not applicable for E7K100)
100 MB/sec maximum interface transfer rate ATA-6 Ultra DMA mode-5 (PATA)
150 MB/sec interface transfer rate Serial ATA 1.5Gb/s
115 grams
2.6/2.6/2.6 Bels typical idle acoustics
3.0/3.0/3.0 Bels typical operating acoustics

(1) media transfer rate based on available specs -- 629 (Hitachi) vs. 538.2 Mbits/second (from closest competitor)

(2) 1 gigabyte equals 1 billion bytes

(3) includes enhanced features such as Native Command Queuing, Hot Plug, Staggered Spin-up

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