HGST (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and now a Western Digital company, NYSE: WDC) today announced a new family of CinemaStar 2.5-inch hard disk drives (HDDs) for the growing traditional and small form factor audio/video (A/V) and consumer electronics (CE) HDD markets. With continued technological advancements and increased capacities, 2.5-inch hard drives are satisfying the needs of both the traditional 3.5-inch CE market as well as the small form factor market, while allowing OEMs to design smaller, more compact A/V streaming devices. From slim 7mm z-height 500GB HDDs to high-capacity, 2.5-inch, 9.5mm 1TB HDDs, HGST’s new CinemaStar family targets the vast majority of CE capacity needs, while providing the right balance of performance, low power and quiet acoustics for multi-stream digital video recorders (DVRs) and set-top-boxes (STBs). Now in its sixth generation, each CinemaStar drive is fine-tuned with advanced streaming technology to efficiently optimize the 24/7 recording and playback of A/V content. The new CinemaStar family includes: CinemaStar Z7K500 Family for High Performance A/V Streaming – The CinemaStar Z7K500 family is the industry’s first one-disk, 7mm, 7200 RPM, 2.5-inch drive designed for high-performance A/V streaming. It delivers blazing speed, power-efficiency and design flexibility for uninterrupted content delivery and storage. The 7mm CinemaStar Z7K500 drive can be a direct replacement for standard 9.5mm hard drives and is well suited for slim TV integration, and high-performance multi-tuner DVRs and STBs that let you stream, record and watch programming at the same time. The CinemaStar Z7K500 family comes with a 6Gb/s SATA interface and a 32MB cache buffer, and is available in 500GB, 320GB and 250GB capacities. CinemaStar C5K1000 Family Delivers Massive Capacity in a Small Footprint – The new CinemaStar C5K1000 drive delivers a generous 1TB capacity in a 2.5-inch form factor, meeting the needs of a growing number of CE OEMs who wish to offer video recording and playback features in a compact design, while still offering massive capacity and functionality as seen in much larger units in households today. The new 5,400 RPM, 9.5mm, 2.5-inch CinemaStar C5K1000 family delivers read/write power as low as 1.5 watts (W) and a quiet operation at 2.4 bels idle. The drive family is available in 1TB, 750GB and 640GB capacities. CinemaStar Z5K500 Family Offers Mainstream Performance and Capacity – The CinemaStar Z5K500 offering is HGST’s second-generation, 7mm, 5400 RPM, 2.5-inch CE HDD family, featuring a one-disk design with 500GB, 320GB and 250GB capacities. With its slim 7mm HDD design, power as low as 1.4W during read/write operations and a barely audible sound at 1.9 idle bels, OEMs can easily design smaller, quieter and more power-efficient DVR solutions with enough streaming performance and capacity to store 185¹ hours of HD video or television shows. With design wins in virtually all major markets, HGST’s CinemaStar hard drive family is the storage muscle behind A/V streaming devices today. HGST CinemaStar drives offer specialized advanced features and integrated technology for high-definition multi-stream DVRs, tuner-based STBs as well as IPTV set-top boxes, DVR-enabled TVs, audio systems and video surveillance systems. All CinemaStar drives feature HGST’s patented and innovative SmoothStream technology, which enables the drives to perform efficiently and provide the best viewing experience possible. The HGST SmoothStream technology supports the industry-standard ATA-7 streaming command set, and SMART command transport (SCT) provides time-limited error recovery and thermal monitoring capabilities for a longer system life. Together, the SCT protocol and HGST SmoothStream technology minimize disruptions in stream delivery by adapting buffer management behavior and error recovery timing to match the characteristics of typical streaming applications. "Increasingly, set-top-box, DVR, and game console manufacturers are leveraging smaller 2.5-inch form factor HDDs instead of traditional 3.5-inch drives in more compact CE product designs," said John Rydning, IDC's HDD research vice president. "With 2.5-inch HDDs able to offer the capacity sweet spot for set top boxes and DVRs, IDC expects 2.5-inch HDD shipments into these applications will grow at a worldwide 2011-2016 compound annual growth rate of 21.8%." “The ever increasing appetite for on-demand entertainment is driving the adoption of high-capacity 2.5-inch hard disk drives into a growing number of CE applications,” said Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing, HGST. “Not only is there a desire to increase the storage capacity in these devices to hold more programs, but they must deliver predictable A/V streaming performance. With our broad new family of 2.5-inch CinemaStar drives, we continue to give our customers the flexibility to select a variety of reliable and robust drives to meet their cost, performance, power or capacity requirements, while helping them to deliver smaller, more aesthetically appealing designs.” The new 2.5-inch CinemaStar family is now shipping in limited quantities.