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Hitachi brings competition for smaller microdrives
Posted on 5-Jan-2005 21:38. | Tags Filed under: News.

Hitachi brings competition for smaller microdrives
Company will release a smaller one-inch Microdrive product and a slimmer 1.8-inch hard drive later this year. These two miniature drives with capacities between 8GB and 10GB are designed for use in mobile phones and digital music players.

Hitachi will work on its one-inch Microdrive to create a 20-percent smaller version with the highest capacity at 8-10 gigabytes (GB) of storage. The new smaller Microdrive is called baby "Mikey" for its diminutive size. With a physical dimension of 40 x 30 x 5 mm, it is designed for the smallest handheld devices with needs for ample, yet, affordable storage. In addition, through an integrated chipset, "Mikey" will enable up to a 40-percent reduction in power consumption over the existing Microdrive product.

It will employ a new ZIF connector, which has been traditionally used by consumer electronics device manufacturers for ease of integration.

Because the applications for which "Mikey" is intended are highly portable devices, Hitachi has provided for additional methods of shock protection beyond the drive's internal mechanisms, which will offer more than a 100-percent operating-shock improvement over the current Microdrive product. Hitachi has also designed "snubbers" or drive bumpers that could be mounted around "Mikey" to supply additional shock protection.

Applying a similar approach to a new 1.8-inch Travelstar product, Hitachi will trim 30 percent off the thickness of the drive to create a 5 mm version, nicknamed "Slim." With a slighter profile equivalent to that of the Microdrive, "Slim" will be the world's smallest and lightest 1.8-inch drive, beating the closest competitor by 10 percent in total volume, according to Hitachi.

At 49 grams, "Slim" is not only thin, but also light. The combination of these will result in a lean product with large storage capacity. "Slim" will come in one- and two-disk versions, offering 30-40 and 60-80 GB of storage, respectively. "Slim's" physical dimensions are expected to be 71 x 54 x 5 mm on the one-disk model, while the two-disk model will differ just slightly with an 8-mm height instead of 5 mm.

Like the "Mikey" model "Slim" will also feature a ZIF connector for easy integration into consumer electronics devices. Applications expected to benefit from "Slim's" small foot print and large storage capability include external storage, high-capacity portable video and audio devices, sub-notebooks and tablet PCs, and navigation devices (GPS).

Both "Mikey" and "Slim" are expected to be compliant with the CE-ATA interface. The consortium is working to develop an interface that is tailored to the needs of handheld and portable consumer electronic devices such as mobile phones, personal digital assistants and MP3 players. Other interface standards are also expected to be supported, depending on customer requirements.

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