Hitachi Launches 160HB Travelstar 5K160 2.5-inch Mobile Hard Drives

Hitachi has announced a new mobile hard drives based on perpendicular recording technolog. Company has today announced its new 2.5″, 5400RPM Travelstar 5K160 series hard drives.

hitachi-5K160The drive uses perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) tech and is aimed at the notebook market, but it will be used in next generation 1.8-inch drives, ready in the second half of this year.

The new Travelstar drives will be available in capacities of 40GB, 60GB, 80GB, 120GB and 160GB. The drives feature a 11ms seek time, 8MB of cache and are available with either an IDE or SATA interface.

The perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) term refers to the fact that the drives can store data vertically on their media rather than on a horizontal flat plane, which increases the amount of storage.

Hitachi says that the PRM write head “can write smaller data bits more sharply”.

“[The] second-generation write head acts like an extremely fine pencil-point capable of writing very sharply-defined data bits that can be packed closely together without distortion.”

The read head is made of an indium, manganese, chromium alloy which will bring a two times improvement in field reliability, said Hitachi.

Hitachi GTS has got so excited about the drive technology that it has gone way over the top and describes today’s HDD as a “drive of steel”.

Hitachi in its press release claimed extra robustness and reliability of their new mobile Travelstar 5K160 hard drives which they claim is made with an alloy combination and layer-deposition process to resist corrosion, a new PMR write head to reduce error rates and write data bits with greater fidelity, and an iridium-manganese-chromium (IrMnCr) alloy read-head to offer twice the field reliability of competing drives.

“What we’ve achieved with the Travelstar 5K160 is a credit to our technical teams’ methodical, single-minded approach to excellence, which we adopted from the start of the PMR development process,” said Hiroaki Nakanishi, CEO, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. “Our mission was to deliver PMR technology when it’s of the highest value to our customers, which is when the transition from longitudinal recording would be seamless in all regards, including reliability, performance, volume ramp and cost. By all measures, that time is now.”

Through improvements in the motor control and switching regulator components and the inclusion of the so-called “femto” slider, the new Hitachi Travelstar 5K160 hard drives is also expecetd to cut power by 20 percent over the previous generation. A smaller version of the mechanism that moves the head back and forth over the disk is in place.

Hitachi’s upcoming 1.8-inch drive will also spin the drive at 3,600 RPM rather than 4,200 RPM, using the improvements in performance from the areal density to offset the slower spindle speed.

The TravelStar 5K160 family will range in capacity from 40 to 160 Gbytes and it goes for sale in the U.S. this summer for $270 to OEMs and $300 to consumers with three-year warranty, which is standard of Hetachi. The company also has plans for a still slimmer hard drive measuring 1.8-inch in thickness for consumer electronics for small notebooks utilizing the same technology by latter half of 2006.

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