Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has introduced a 2.5-inch hard drive with several features that company executives predict will make it a leading contender in several segments of the notebook market, as well as the consumer electronics market.
The 4,200 rpm Hitachi Travelstar 4K120 hard drive uses new technology developed by Hitachi that makes power consumption more efficient.
Called Hivert (Hitachi Voltage Efficiency Regulator), the technology improves power efficiency by as much as 30 percent, extending battery life by up to 20 minutes for an average workload and increasing the service life of the drive itself, said Becky Smith, vice president of strategy and marketing at the San Jose, Calif., company.
Smith said the extended battery life feature would particularly appeal to "road warriors," who value extended battery life.
With the Travelstar 4K120, Hitachi also is targeting developers of slim notebooks in Japan, as well as in emerging markets like India, China and Russia.
Because the drive uses less power, heat dissipates more quickly, making it idea for slim notebooks, she said.
"They want something slim and sleek, which means they need [technology] where the power efficiency and heat dissipation are good," she said. "If it's slim and you have a hot drive, it will be very uncomfortable."
In addition to targeting road warriors and slim-notebook manufacturers, Hitachi is aiming the Travelstar 4K120 at the emerging market for small DVRs (Digital Video Recorders), which also can benefit from the cooler hard drives.
"It won't require a fan, which is a big deal for the emerging segment of slim DVR," she said.
The set-top DVR market also can benefit from something the company calls Smooth Stream—technology developed by Hitachi to improve audio and video streaming in devices like DVRs. Smith said the Travelstar 4K120 is the first 2.5-inch drive to offer audio and video streaming.
Although several OEMs have been testing the hard drive in various products over the last several months, Smith declined to say which OEMs planned to release products including the new hard drive.
She did say, however, that the Travelstar 4K120 will be in mass production by the end of the month and available through the channel in early August. Because the Travelstar 4K120 is not yet on the market, Smith declined to provide pricing.
Once the Travelstar 4K120 is released and company executives can monitor its progress, Smith said the company would evaluate whether to develop another 4,200 RPM-based hard drive or to move to the 5,400 RPM category.
"The 5,400 and 7,200 markets are starting to take shape," she said. "We'll have to monitor the progress over the next six months to see whether we should have another 4,200 or whether the 5,400 is the market of choice for the future." SOURCE