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Hitachi absorbs IBM hard disk drive unit

Hitachi has formally launched Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, a new company comprising Hitachi's and IBM's hard disk drive (HDD) operations.

The company agreed to acquire IBM's unprofitable HDD operations last June for $2bn (£1.24bn), and the deal was completed last month.

Hitachi expected an increase in demand for HDD, not just for use in personal computers and servers, but also for consumer electronics such as car audio and set-top boxes. Its rivals include Seagate Technology, Maxtor and Western Digital.

The company also unveiled four HDD products yesterday. The Travelstar A4K20 has been developed specifically for automotive applications and offers 20Gbytes of storage for car navigation. Car audio applications will be available in the second quarter.

Hitachi also launched a 4Gbyte version of its Microdrive for portable devices such as digital cameras and digital music players. Hewlett-Packard Kodak are two companies considering the drives for their products.

For the enterprise market, Hitachi announced the Ultrastar 15K73, a 15,000 RPM HDD to be available in 36Gbyte and 73Gbyte capacities. The drive is meant for servers and will be available in Ultra 320 SCSI and 2G bit FCAL interfaces, Hitachi said.

For notebook computers and other portable computers, Hitachi introduced the Travelstar Compact Series C4K40, a 4,200 RPM drive in 20Gbyte and 40Gbyte capacities.

Pricing for the products was not announced.

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