Hitachi Announces 1 TB Hard Drive

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies looks like it’s the first hard drive manufacturer out of the gates with a single unit offering 1 terabyte (that’s 1,024 gigabytes) of storage. Hitachi’s 7K1000 hard drive will reportedly begin shipping to retailers in the first quarter of 2007 with a suggested price of just $399—cheaper than the cost of two 500 GB drives today.

"The industry’s first one-terabyte hard drive represents a milestone that is 50 years in the making, and it reasserts the hard drive’s leadership as the highest-capacity, lowest-cost storage technology," said Shinjiro Iwata, chief marketing officer for Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "In the 51st year, Hitachi is leading a new era for hard drives—not only providing large amounts of affordable storage, but also customizing and optimizing hard drives to deliver products that are smarter, more durable and more useful to the consumer."

Hitachi is positioning the drive at digital video aficionados, noting somewhat gleefully that high-definition video required four to five times more storage capacity than standard-definition video—so both video authors and digital movie buffs with media servers should start stocking up on storage if they want to enjoy high-def content.

The 7K1000 is a 3.5-inch drive running at 7200 rpm, and will be available in both Desktar and CinemaStar configurations: one for general computing, one aimed at DVRs. The Deskstar model will feature both 3 Gb/s SATA and a PATA-133 interface, along with a ramp load design for shock protection, a 32 MB buffer, and three low-power idle modes to reduce noise and improve efficiency. The stats on the CinemaStar unit aren’t fully fleshed out, but it will feature adaptive error recovery and SMART command transport and "bedroom quiet" acoustics. Expect to see the Deskstar units in the first quarter of 2007, with the CinemaStars landing in the second quarter.

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