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Hitachi launches 1 TB SATA disk drive

Hitachi has taken the wraps off three new products: a 1 TB enterprise SATA disk drive, a 2.5-inch SAS drive and a 300 GB multi-interface drive.

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi) is stepping up its effort in the enterprise disk drive market with a trio of new products, including the first available 1 terabyte (TB) SATA drive.

Dubbed the Ultrastar A7K1000, this 3.5-inch disk drive supports 7,200 rpm, a 3 Gbps SATA interface and up to 1 TB of capacity. Hitachi said it's good for approximately 1.2 million hours before failing (MTBF). And to support enterprise environments, the company claims it has improved the rotational

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vibration (RV) feature to handle 12.5 radians-per-second squared, 50% more RV than the previous model before performance is degraded. When all drives are spinning they create enough vibration to affect neighboring drives. The ability to cancel RV is crucial as drives hold more and more data.

"Hitachi is hitting the need for data centers struggling with capacity growth … they are definitely in the lead with a 1 TB drive," said John Rydning, research manager for hard disk drives at IDC Corp. "But you can't keep a lead forever, Seagate is about two quarters away," he added. Rydning says virtual tape libraries (VTL) are a good place for this technology, or anywhere with sequential I/O.

Hitachi also announced the 15K300, the next generation of the 15K147, a 300 GB, 3.5-inch, 15,000 rpm drive that supports Ultra320 SCSI, 3 Gbps SAS and 4Gbps Fibre Channel interfaces. The third and final product, a 2.5-inch SAS drive, called the C10K147, is Hitachi's first small form factor (SFF) enterprise drive, aimed at high-speed servers. It supports 10,000 rpm and up to 147 GB of capacity.

On both the 15K300 and C10K147 Hitachi is playing catch-up to Seagate Technology and Fujitsu Ltd., according to Rydning. "Hitachi is the third supplier in that [2.5-inch SAS] segment … there's good growth there and it's important they participate." According to IDC, the industry is expected to experience a fast ramp in shipments from 2.4 million SAS drives in 2006 to 9.4 million in 2007 as cost, space and low power considerations in data centers drive the need for a transition to SFF.

All three new products will ship in volume by the end of June, according to Doug Pickford, director of marketing at Hitachi.

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