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Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) on Wednesday announced the industry’s broadest family of ultra slim and light 7mm z-height drives. With a broad the new Hitachi Z-series family of Travelstar and CinemaStar drives in capacities up to 320GB, Hitachi is at the forefront of the shift from 9.5mm 2.5” drives to 7mm 2.5” drives across a broad range of market segments.

“We are putting the full weight and force of our R&D, manufacturing, distribution and marketing behind our one-disk 7mm drives such that we can lead the category and demonstrate that we have the most complete, robust and flexible offerings in this rapidly emerging category,” said Brendan Collins, vice president of marketing at Hitachi GST.

Hitachi Z-series of hard drives consists of different models with 160GB, 250GB or 320GB capacities, which are optimized for different thin and light applications:

  • Travelstar Z7K320: 7200rpm spindle speed, 16MB buffer, typical average seek time 13ms, Serial ATA-300 interface, 0.8W low power idle power consumption, 1.8W active power consumption. The 7ZK320 delivers up to 18% better application performance than 5400 RPM models of the same capacity;
  • Travelstar Z5K320: 5400rpm spindle speed, 8MB buffer, typical average seek time 13ms, Serial ATA-300 interface, 0.55W low power idle power consumption, 1.6W active power consumption. The Z5K320 is optimized for quiet and low-power operation;
  • Cinemastar Z5K320: 5400rpm spindle speed, 8MB buffer, typical average seek time 15ms, Serial ATA-300 interface, 0.55W low power idle power consumption, 1.4W active power consumption. The Cinemastar models have been customized to support digital video and surveillance applications and feature Hitachi SmoothStream technology that supports the ATA-7 streaming command set, and SCT provides time-limited error recovery and thermal monitoring capabilities.  

All Hitachi Z-series drives feature common connectors and common mounting points for simple integration into existing systems, and enable greater design flexibility to differentiate and meet market demands for new, thinner, lighter and more robust devices.

Largely cost prohibitive for the mainstream ultra-portable consumer market, SSDs can be 17 times, and 1.8” drives can be up to seven times more expensive on a cost per gigabyte basis when compared to the new Hitachi Z-series drives, the company said. When comparing GB/mm3, Hitachi 7mm drives are 36% more space efficient than 2.5” SSDs and 9.5mm hard drives, while offering 73% more space efficiency than 1.8” SSDs. By using Hitachi Z-series drives, manufacturers can utilize space savings to design thinner devices, increase shock robustness, improve unplugged time by using a larger battery or allow for enhanced cooling and air flow due to the thinner hard drive design.

“The relentless pursuit for thinner, lighter and lower cost notebook PCs is impacting the design requirements of all PC components, including hard disk drives. Hitachi's plan to satisfy these design requirements with its new 7mm z-height, one-disk, mobile 2.5” hard disk drive, along with its strategy to make it price-competitive with standard 9.5mm products, should drive broad adoption,” said John Rydning, research director at IDC.

Lenovo Group and Samsung Electronics have already confirmed plans to utilize Hitachi’s 7mm drives in their computers.

“Our Z-series drives are currently being qualified by virtually every top PC OEM around the world, which is evidence that we continue to offer precisely the kind of drives our customers need to design differentiated solutions to stay competitive,” added Mr. Collins.

Tags: Hitachi, HDD, 7mm


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