Hitachi Slims 7,200 RPM Drives Down to 7mm

hitachi slims 7200 rpm drives down to 7mm travelstar z7k320  side

A lot of the buzz in the storage business lately might be around solid-state drives, but the traditional hard drive certainly isn’t giving up without a fight. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has just announced its new TravelStar Z7K320 hard drive, the first in the company’s new series of single-platter, 2.5-inch hard drives. The Z7K320 packs up to 320 GB of storage into a form factor measuring just 7mm high, enabling their use in even more compact devices. (A typical 2.5-inch hard drive is 9mm tall.) And the unit spins at a sprightly 7,200 rpm, making it suitable for data-intensive tasks like video.

And Hitachi isn’t shy about touting the cost benefits: according to the company, these new Z-series drives are up to seven times more cost effective than 1.8-inch hard drives on a cost-per-GB and cost-per-cubic-millimeter basis, and up to 18 times cheaper than SSD solutions.

“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 Hitachi GST marketing VP Brendan Collins, in a statement. “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.”

The Z7K320s feature a 16MB cache and a 3Gb/s SATA interface and a 13ms average seek time, and runs on just 1.8 watts of power, idling down to 0.8 watts and taking 0.2 watts on standby and 0.1 watts in sleep mode. The drive is also designed to run quietly, producing just 2.3 bels when idle and 2.4 bels when seeking, making it ideal for use in notebooks and media center systems where distracting noise is a problem.

Hitachi plans to start shipping the drives in 160, 250, and 320 GB capacities in August; no word yet on pricing.

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