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Hitachi Global Storage Technologies unveiled recently two of its innovative hard disk drives designed for mobile applications. The first new product from the company is dubbed Mikey – or Microdrive 3K8 – and is designed for various handhelds, whereas the second hard drive – Travelstar C4K60 Slim – is targeted towards notebooks.

“We believe the hard drive – especially miniature hard drives – has become the must-have accessory for today’s portable electronic devices; in consumer electronics, the hard drive has truly become the new ‘bling’ for both the valuable and priceless data they carry,” said Bill Healy, senior vice president, marketing, HDD business planning and strategy, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies.

Hitachi’s Microdrive 3K8, that comes in 1” form-factor, features 6GB and 8GB capacities as well as CE-ATA interface, which is designed for consumer electronics and provides 33MB/s bandwidth. The maker declares 8.33ms average latency and 12ms average seek time for its new product. Mikey features 3600rpm motor.

In addition, Hitachi is deploying drop-sensor technology on the new Microdrive, which protects against data loss in the event of a drop. Acting like a sixth sense, Hitachi’s ESP or Extra Sensory Protection technology works by immediately parking the read-write head safely away from the surface of the disk when it detects a fall, preventing head/disk contact which may cause data loss. ESP is activated during a drop of as little as four inches and effectively allows the operating-shock tolerance to mimic non-operating-shock tolerance, which in the 3K8 equates to 2000Gs, the industry’s highest shock rating for a one-inch hard drive, the company said.

Also, Hitachi unveiled its new Travelstar C4K60 Slim for laptops. The hard disk drive that will be available in 1.8” form-factor, sports a profile that is 30% thinner than its predecessor, measuring a mere 5mm on the one-disk model. With its new physique, the C4K60 is tougher and lighter than any other 1.8” drive on the market, for a total volume advantage of 10%.

Travelstar C4K60 is compatible with Parallel ATA-100 interface and will use 4200rpm motor. The manufacturer claims 7.1ms average latency and 15ms average seek time for the new HDD. 20, 30, 40 and 60GB versions are planned to be available.

The 6GB and 8GB versions of the Microdrive 3K8 are now shipping in limited quantities, with volume shipment planned for October. Hitachi’s ESP technology and support for the CE-ATA and ATA-on-MMC interfaces will be available starting in December. The Travelstar C4K60 Slim will begin volume shipment of the 30GB version at the end of this month. The 2-disk, 60GB Slim model will ship in the first quarter of 2006.

“Mikey and Slim offer the unique combination of small physical size and high capacity to give new categories of devices – like smart phones – the benefit of more powerful applications that require multiple gigabytes of capacity at an affordable price,” Mr. Healy said.

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