Hitachi unveils 2.5-in. 320GB notebook hard drive

60 percent more capacity, 25 percent less power required than its year-old predecessor

Hitachi Wednesday is set to unveil a 320GB mobile computer hard disk drive that offers 60 percent more capacity and requires some 25 percent less power than its year-old predecessor .

The new 2.5-in. Travelstar 7K320, which spins at speeds of up to 7,200 rpm, is available in models with capacities ranging from 80GB to 320GB. The device can run applications 12 percent faster than the Travelstar 7200 model it is replacing, said Larry Sweezey, director of consumer and commercial hard disk drives at the San Jose-based subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd.

The new mobile hard drive costs US$220 and will ship before the end of the month, the company said. Sweezey declined to identify manufacturers who plan to embed the new drive into their systems, though he said those products should debut by early in the third quarter.

The fourth-generation Hitachi device includes a serial ATA interface with 3Gbit/sec. Data transfer speeds, and offers a bulk data encryption security option. The Travelstar 7K320 can store up to 80 hours of high-definition video, 320 hours of standard video, 114 movies and 80,000 four minute MP3 songs.

Sweezey said the mobile hard drive product is targeted at notebook PCs, gaming devices, compact desktop systems, small video devices, blade servers and video surveillance systems.

"Desktops went to 7,200 rpm a long time ago on 3.5-in. [drives] but there's always been a big gap between what a desktop hard drive and 2.5-in. laptop drive can offer around spin speed," said Sweezey. "We believe there are a lot of folks hungry for performance for systems running very heavy computing and video files."

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