Hitachi today announced that it is now shipping qualification samples of its 4GB Microdrive to consumer product manufacturers worldwide. The one-inch diameter drive features a data transfer rate that represents a 70 percent increase from the previous-generation microdrive.
Hitachi's 4GB Microdrive is the world's smallest hard disk drive, weighing just over a half an ounce (16 grams) and equivalent in size to a matchbook. The miniaturized hard drive is designed for users who demand maximum capacity for storing large quantities of high-resolution digital photos and video, MP3 music, electronic games and other large files. The data storage available on the 4GB Microdrive is roughly equivalent to a full-length DVD movie or 75 hours of high-quality digital music.
Consumer product manufacturers that are evaluating the new Microdrive for compatibility with current and future products include Blaupunkt, Kodak, Minolta Co., Ltd., Nikon, Olympus, Pentax Corporation, Sigma and Sony Corporation. Many of these industry-leading companies already support Hitachi's current-generation Microdrive in their consumer electronic devices.
Product compatibility and availability
Hitachi's new 4GB Microdrive (officially known as the Hitachi Microdrive 3K4 series) is designed to the Compact Flash Type II industry standard and is compatible with a wide variety of devices that accept CF+ Type II media. The 4GB Microdrive is formatted at the factory using the FAT32 file system to remedy the 2GB limitation of the FAT16 file system. Therefore, when used in a digital camera, the camera must support a FAT32 file system.
Hitachi will continue to offer its current 1GB Microdrive to customers throughout the world and is planning to introduce a 2GB version of the Microdrive later this year. The company expects the new 4GB Microdrive to be available on retail shelves in major markets this November at a MSRP of $499.