On the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, at a time when most of the technology world is asking "what’s the next big thing?", Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) has answered that question quite literally by introducing the world’s highest capacity 2.5-inch mobile hard drive. Setting a new industry benchmark for capacity, the half-terabyte (500GB) Travelstar 5K500 is poised to usher in a new era of “slim” desktops, full-featured notebooks, gaming consoles and other advanced applications for consumers on-the-go.
With the Travelstar 5K500, Hitachi GST has effectively eliminated the “capacity compromise” by offering consumers all the storage capacity of a desktop with the portability and convenience of a notebook. Moreover, the new drives are well-suited for use in “slim” desktops, where users are seeking high-capacities in a space-saving, small form factor enclosure. These new sleek PC designs are highly desirable among today’s consumers who are often placing computers in multiple rooms throughout the home.
The Travelstar 5K500, available in either a 400GB or 500GB model, is the fourth-generation Hitachi mobile drive to use perpendicular magnetic recording technology to deliver breakthrough capacity and reliability. The half-terabyte drives can store up to 500 hours of digital video, 178 feature length movies, 250 games or 125,000 four-minute songs. Travelstar 5K500 drives are available with a 3.0Gb/s Serial ATA (SATA) interface for enhanced system performance.
Hitachi will also offer an enhanced-availability (EA) version, called the Travelstar E5K500 -- also available in both 400GB and 500GB capacities -- which is designed for applications requiring 24x7 operation in lower transaction environments, such as blade servers, network routers, point-of-sale terminals and video surveillance systems.
“The Travelstar 5K500 was designed to address some important trends taking place in today’s notebook computing market,” said Larry Swezey, director, Consumer and Commercial HDD, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. “Consumers tend to think of their notebooks as less of a pure technology tool and more of a mobile entertainment device for taking large libraries of movies, music, games and pictures on the go. As a result, notebooks are now starting to ship with wide, high definition screens and large, high quality speakers for playing digital audio and video. Hitachi’s new Travelstar 5K500 responds to these dynamics with the features, design innovations and technologies that enhance the overall entertainment experience.”
The Travelstar 5K500 is among Hitachi’s most technically advanced and robust family of drives and includes an array of innovative features, such Hitachi-patented Rotational Vibration Safeguard (RVS) technology. RVS is designed for today’s full-featured notebooks that commonly include premium speakers for enhancing the movie, music and gaming experience. These speakers however, can inadvertently cause vibrations within the system enclosure. To mitigate any adverse impact on system performance, the Travelstar 5K500 uses RVS as an “early warning” system for the drive, enabling it to sense a possible disturbance in advance and take the necessary steps to stabilize the drive head and avoid any disruptions. Additionally, the Travelstar 5K500 drives feature 400Gs of shock protection to further safeguard user data from falls, bumps and rough handling.
The Travelstar 5K500 drives also feature optional Bulk Data Encryption (BDE) for hard drive level data security. Previously, data on a hard drive could be protected either through software-based encryption or a system-level password. However, hard-drive level encryption provides improved performance and a higher level of security than any of the previously available options. BDE models ship exclusively with a 1.5Gb/s SATA interface.
Consumers have begun to demand environmentally responsible products in all aspects of their lives. Hitachi has designed the Travelstar 5K500 to address these requirements without compromising performance for power efficiency, or vice versa. While the Travelstar 5K500 uses a three-disk design to deliver up to 500GB of capacity, the new drives are extremely energy-efficient, with a power profile nearly identical to its two-disk predecessor, the Travelstar 5K250. The new drives feature a 1.9 watt read/write power draw and their 0.7 watt low power idle means longer battery life for more “unplugged” notebook time.
Since entering the 2.5-inch segment in 1991, Hitachi has led innovations in the form factor for every measurable category: areal density, performance, power management, acoustics, shock tolerance, reliability and breadth of product options. Hitachi Travelstar drives continue to be the most popular 2.5-inch hard drives on the market today.
“PC form factors are changing dramatically as PCs shift from productivity tools to lifestyle devices,” according to Richard Shim, Personal Computing Research Manager at IDC. “The most notable change is the emergence of notebooks as the dominant PC form factor over desktops. At the same time, desktops are slimming down without sacrificing, and in some cases improving, performance. One key component enabling this “less is more concept” in PCs is hard drives, which continue to increase in capacity, while maintaining their relatively diminutive sizes.”
The Travelstar 5K500 will be available worldwide in February. The Travelstar E5K500 will be available by the end of the second quarter, 2008.
12.5 mm in height
260 billion bits per square inch maximum areal density
3 glass disk platter (s)
6 TMR recording head(s)
1000 G/1ms non-operating shock
400 G/2ms operating shock
5.5 ms average latency
12 ms average read time
0.95 W active idle
0.7 W low-power idle
1.8 W idle power (EA version only)
Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s, 1.5Gb/s encrypted
148 grams in weight
2.2 Bels typical idle acoustics
2.4 Bels typical operational acoustics