Hitachi to release 100GB hard drives for notebooks

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) announced the availability of 2.5-inch hard drives with capacities up to 100G bytes for notebook computers by the end of 2004, the company said on Tuesday.

The Travelstar 5K100 and E5K100 hard drives spin at 5400 rpm (revolutions per minute) and are available in 40G-byte, 60G-byte, 80G-byte and 100 G-byte capacities. They are 9.5 millimeters in height, and consume relatively little power, the company said in an announcement.

Both the 5K100 and E5K100 offer parallel ATA and serial ATA (SATA) support, the company said. All the models will be shipping to customers in the fourth quarter of this year. In the US, the 5K100 will be on sale at a suggested price of US$126 for the 40G-byte version, US$170 for the 60G-byte version, US$222 for the 80G-byte version and US$263 for the 100G-byte version, Tadashi Hisanaga, a spokesman for Hitachi, said on Tuesday. Hisanaga declined comment on customers for the products.

HGST is aiming more of its small-diameter hard disc production at consumer electronics applications and believes that increasing numbers of consumers who are considering buying notebook computers want to have more than the 40G bytes of storage.The company believes the consumer electronics portion of the market was about 10 percent in 2004. The company expects this share to grow to about 15 percent in 2003 and to grow to about half the entire hard-disk market in 2007.

In May, HGST said it was doubling to 60 million units the annual production of its 1-inch Microdrive, 2.5-inch Travelstar and 3.5-inch Deskstar product lines and was investing US$200 million to upgrade its factory in Thailand, where these drives are made.

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