Hitachi GST ships terabyte platter-spinners

Faster to market than Seagate

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Hitachi GST is now shipping internal fit, terabyte-per-platter drives. Back in May Seagate announced it would ship a terabyte-per-platter Barracuda by the mid-year point, but production problems are still delaying this bumper Barracuda bundle.

Oddly Hitachi GST is only shipping single-platter versions of these new drives, although it is saying they are the first ones in a new family, with their 569Gbit/in2 areal density. The announced but not yet shipping terabyte platter Barracuda had a 635Gbit/in2 areal density.

There are, broadly speaking, two new base drives – a 7,200rpm one and a 5,000rpm class one – packaged into two brands and four actual products.

Firstly, we have the Deskstar 7K1000.D, spinning at 7,200rpm, and the Deskstar 5K100.B, spinning around 5,400-5,200rpm. Hitachi GST is coy about the actual speed and says it uses Coolspin technology. As it spins more slowly, it has an up to 23 per cent power saving over the 7K1000.D.

Both drives have 250GB to 1TB capacities. The faster drive is for "consumer and commercial desktop computers, as well as external storage solutions, PC gaming systems, and desktop RAID arrays". The slower one is for a somewhat vaguer category of "cool and quiet personal computing devices". Both are said to be power-efficient.

Both drives have a 32MB cache and a 6Gbit/s SATA interface.

Secondly, we have Cinemastar versions of the base drives – a Cinemastar 7K1000.D and a Cinemastar 5K1000.B – whose specs are basically the same as the Deskstar ones. These drives are for DVRs, set-top boxes and video surveillance systems. Hitachi GST says approximately 90 per cent of hard disk drive demand here is for single-disk capacities ranging from 250GB to 500GB, the sweet spot. It says its new drives have more than 10 features and technologies optimised for A/V streaming.

Obviously Hitachi GST can add platters to both the new Deskstar and CinemaStar product pairs and deliver 1, 2, 3 and 4TB drives. Whether it will depends upon its reading of market demand and, possibly, the preparations for product integration with Western Digital, whose acquisition of Hitachi GST is expected to complete by the end of the year. WD will have its own plans for terabyte-per-platter drives and it might be thought excessive to deliver both Hitachi GST and WD branded versions of what are essentially the same products.

The new Deskstars are shipping now. The CinemaStars will come along "in the fall". ®

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