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Friday, January 05, 2007
Hitachi, Seagate in Race For First 1TB Drives

Hitachi and Seagate are expected to launch their first 1 terabyte desktop hard disk drives in the first half of 2007, taking advantage of the perpendicular recording technology.

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has announced it will come out with a 3.5-inch-diameter 1 terabyte hard drive for desktops in the first quarter of 2007. The drive uses five 200GB platters spinning at 7,200RPM. It will be available with Serial and "parallel" ATA interfaces. Serial ATA flavors of the 7K1000 will boast a whopping 32MB of onboard cache, while IDE models will be stuck with only 8MB. A four-platter 750GB model is also on the way, according to Hitachi. There is also an enterprise-class version of the 7K1000 in the works. That drive isn't being officially announced today, but it's expected to be released in the second quarter of this year. Hitachi says samples are already being tested by its OEM customers.

The company will then follow up in the second quarter with the CinemaStar 7K1000 3.5-inch terabyte drives for set top box and DVR applications, bundled with software called Audio-Visual Storage Manager for easier retrieval of data, and corporate storage systems.

The Deskstar 7K1000 will cost $399 when it comes out. Currently, Hitachi sells 3.5-inch drives that hold 500GB of data.

Rival Seagate Technology will come out with a 1 terabyte drive in the first half of 2007. According to the company, this second-generation drive to use perpendicular recording technology will hit the terabyte mark using only four platters. A four-platter terabyte drive would need to pack 250GB per platter, which is a much higher areal density than Seagate's current Barracuda 7200.10, which tops out at less than 200GB per platter.

The boost in capacity for desktop drives comes in part through the introduction of perpendicular recording technology to 3.5-inch-diameter drives. In perpendicular drives, data can be stored in vertical columns, rather than on a single plane. Drive makers have already released laptop drives, which sport smaller 2.5-inch-diameter drives, with perpendicular recording.

The two companies, along with others, will tout their new drives at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and will show off hybrid hard drives, as well.

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