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Image courtesy Hitachi GST
Six months after the first 750GB, Hitachi announces the 1TB marker

Not even hours after Seagate publically announced the company would unveil its 1TB hard drive sometime in the first half of 2007, Hitachi Global Storage has announced its 1TB drive.  Like Seagate, Hitachi GST claims the drive will be available in the second quarter of 2007.

The 1TB Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 is just one of the drives in Hitachi's scope for next week's Consumer Electronics Show.  The company also announced its 750GB Deskstar 7K750, CinemaStar 7K750 and CinemaStar 7K1000.  Hitachi CinemaStar hard drives are specifically designed for digital video players and home-theater PCs.

Both Serial ATA and Parallel ATA versions of the new high-density monsters will make appearances.  The drives spin at 7,200 revolutions per minute with an average seek time of 8.7 milliseconds.  The SATA version of the Deskstar 7K1000 will feature a 32MB read head.

The 1TB Desktar utilizes five platters from Komag, while the 750GB Deskstar uses four.  Seagate, the first drive manufacturer to announce a 750GB drive last year, also uses Komag for its platter needs.

"The industry's first one-terabyte hard drive represents a milestone that is 50 years in the making, and it reasserts the hard drive's leadership as the highest-capacity, lowest-cost storage technology," said Shinjiro Iwata, chief marketing officer, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "In the 51st year, Hitachi is leading a new era for hard drives -- not only providing large amounts of affordable storage, but also customizing and optimizing hard drives to deliver products that are smarter, more durable and more useful to the consumer."

Seagate's Barracuda 7200.10 750GB drive launched with an MSRP of $499 in the middle of last year.  Hitachi has bold claims for the Deskstar 7K1000 -- the company claims it will launch with a price tag of $399, or just under $0.40 per gigabyte.


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RE: CinemaStar
By pnyffeler on 1/5/2007 1:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
Why can't they just come up with a drive with variable speeds? For example, a drive that can be set to spin up to 7200 or 10K under certain situations, but be told to run at 5400 when the user wants quiet or low power consumption.

Although silence in a HTC would be commendable, the more obvious application would be in laptops. Imagine a laptop whose hard drive would run at 7200 rpm when plugged in and 4200 when on battery. Sure, it would be slower, but it would probably lead to a dramatic improvement in battery life. I went from 5+ hours of battery life in my Thinkpad T42 with an extended battery on a 5400 rpm drive to about 3-3.5 hours with a 7200 rpm drive.

Somebody help me!


RE: CinemaStar
By darkfoon on 1/5/2007 5:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
I have always thought that a variable speed drive would be a stupendous invention.
But I speculate that the reason we don't have them has to do with the internal firmware and internal timings.

The heads inside a drive going 10,000 RPMs need to move differently(read: faster) than in a drive going 5,400 RPMs.
Because of the vast differences in timing(at that speed), and quality of materials(ex: head servos) a variable speed drive would be infeasible.

And if all of that is wrong, then it simply comes down to money. If Seagate makes more money with 10,000 RPM drives than they do with 7,200 RPM drives, why would they create a variable speed drive that cannibalizes one of their most lucrative markets?
Also, the cost of research into a variable speed drive may be prohibitive and Seagate may not see much consumer demand in such a product. Remember, many computer users are stupid and may not know the difference between a variable speed drive and a regular one; that could, in turn, mean more stupid tech support calls, thus costing Seagate more money than just the production of the drive.


RE: CinemaStar
By pnyffeler on 1/5/2007 11:48:03 PM , Rating: 2
i agree that the average computer user is stupid. However, people love battery life. Anything that lets them cut the cord so that they can spend more time in front of the TV while they polish their MySpace page sells computers.


RE: CinemaStar
By TomZ on 1/5/2007 5:29:59 PM , Rating: 2
Current HDD motors are (cost) optimized for single-speed operation. That said, there are folks looking into variable-speed. Here are a couple of links to whet your appetite:

IBM Patent: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?TERM1=66...

University of Arizona presentation: http://www.casesconference.org/cases2004/presentat...

I don't think it's a question of "if," but more a question of "when." The benefits seem pretty compelling.


RE: CinemaStar
By GI2K on 1/8/2007 11:30:47 AM , Rating: 2
It's very possible that it will never come out... with this thing of adding flash to HD the need for multiple speeds becomes less important and flash can potentially offer better results.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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