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Hitachi touts notebook-oriented 'drive of steel'

Best perpendicular recording around, company claims

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Hitachi's Global Storage Technologies operation today said it had begun shipping what it claims is the world's most "technically advanced" 2.5in hard drive, the 160GB Travelstar 5K160. The drive uses perpendicular recording technology - Hitachi modestly called its version of the technique "super-perpendicular" because it's so "impressive". Apparently.

Indeed, HGST dubbed the product "the drive of steel", thanks to its reliability and stability - as measured in the company's own tests, of course. The company claimed the drive exhibited as twofold improvement in sensitivity and precision when it came to reading data. Presumably, that's over the company's previous, first-generation perpendicular product.

Hyperbole aside, the 5K160 is a two-platter drive - a single-platter, 80GB version is also available - with four recording heads. It has 8MB of cache memory. The discs spin at 5,400rpm for an 11ms average seek time and an average latency of 5.5ms. The drive can withstand up to 1000G non-operating shock and 325G operating shock, HGST said.

hitachi global storage technologies' travelstar 5k160

The company is offering the drive in 1.5Gbps Serial ATA and Ultra DMA 100 versions, and in addition to the 80GB and 160GB models, there are 40, 60 and 120GB units too.

HGST also said it would ship a 1.8in drive using its second-generation perpendicular technology in the second half of 2006. It didn't say what capacities the 1.8in model will be offered at, but it said it had reduced the spin speed from 4,200rpm to 3,600rpm to cut the drive's power consumption by 20 per cent.

The Travelstar 5K160 will be available in US retail channel this summer for around $269 (£142/€208) for the 160GB model. A Travelstar 5K160 Notebook Upgrade Kit will also be available at $299 (£158/€231), the company said. ®

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