Hitachi debuts fast, power-saving notebook drive

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has developed a notebook computer hard disc drive that will offer users higher performance...

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has developed a notebook computer hard disc drive that will offer users higher performance with little penalty on battery life.

The secret to Hitachi's 2.5in drive, the Travelstar 7K60, is the miniaturisation of a small slider that supports the drive's read/write head. The slider, which is less than 1mm sq, has been made 30% smaller and its mass has been reduced by 60% compared with exisitng drives.

The small component is enough to counter the increase in aerodynamic resistance usually encountered when the disc spins at a higher speed. That means no extra power is needed to drive a disc using the new slider at 7,200 rpm than for a 5,400 rpm disc using the old slider, said Bill Healy, general manager of the company's mobile business unit.

Rotational latency, or the time it takes to get data under the head, and the seek time has been improved by 20% .

Development of the new slider has been under way for several years, said Healy.

Samples of the 60Gbyte slide are already being supplied to major customers and IBM is expected to become the first notebook maker to include it in a product when it ships new models of Thinkpad in the middle of this year, said Healy.

The Travelstar 7K60 will cost around $300 (£186).

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies also announced a second notebook drive. The Travelstar 5K80 is a 80Gbyte 2.5in hard disc drive with rotational speed of 5,400 rpm.

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