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A little bit later than expected originally, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies announced expansion in its product family that includes hard disk drives with “key Serial ATA II features” with capacities of up to 500GB, targeting desktops and workstations that use 3.5” HDDs.

Hitachi Unveils New Deskstar HDDs

“The three Deskstar products announced today will help punctuate Hitachi’s leadership in the 3.5” ATA segment in capacity, performance and breadth of applications,” said Bill Healy, senior vice president, product strategy and marketing, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies.

Hitachi’s new family of Deskstar drives – models 7K500, T7K250 and 7K80 – offer capacities of 500GB, 250GB, 80GB and 40GB and bring a number of Serial ATA II features, such as 3 Gb/s data transfer rate, NCQ and Staggered Spin-up; higher-end models also feature a number of Hitachi’s proprietary technologies available on higher-end Deskstar models. The new transfer rate represents a doubling of the previous SATA 1.0 rate and rivals that of enterprise-class SCSI drives. The new Deskstar drives all feature a single-chip, native SATA chipset and Native Command Queuing (NCQ), which enables fast data transfer rates for enterprise ATA and other performance-based applications.

Serial ATA II Technologies Heading to Desktops

The new portfolio of Hitachi’s Hard Disk Drives features a number of expansions that include multiple Serial ATA II capabilities, such as 3Gb/s data transfer rate, staggered, or delayed, spin-up that enables the host to individually “spin-up” drives in multi-drive configurations, which reduces the power draw of a booting system, enabling system designers to reduce the size of the power supply and minimize the total cost of ownership for end-users, native command queuing, that enables the hard drive to intelligently reorder and optimize both read and write command execution, improving the performance of queued workloads by minimizing mechanical positioning latencies on the drive.

The new drives are expected to fuel the growth of high-capacity DVRs (digital video recorders), which require hard drives that are optimized for storing and retrieving digital video content. Hitachi has addressed this need by integrating its “Smooth Stream” technology into the new drives to enhance the video streaming functionality. Based on newly ratified ATA-7 AV Streaming Feature Set standard, Hitachi’s Smooth Stream enables the host to control the drive’s error recovery process. This feature tunes the drive to capture video data streams. Hitachi was the first hard drive vendor to integrate such a capability in its products.

Deskstar 7K500 also features Rotational Vibration Safeguard (RVS), a technology used to ensure drive performance in high rotational vibration environments, where there are multiple drives in a single enclosure.

Hitachi is currently shipping the Deskstar 7K80 and expects to begin shipping the Deskstar T7K250 and Deskstar 7K500 in Q1 2005.

Earlier in 2004 a number of companies, including Maxtor and Samsung Electronics, initiated production of hard disk drives that utilized technologies originally expected to emerge only along with Serial ATA II.

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