Mini hard disk based audio players could be set for another increase in capacity later in the year, following the announcement from Western Digital Corp. that it is set to release a 6GB one-inch hard disk. The 6GB drive will be one of a family and marks the first time that Western Digital has entered the one-inch drive market. WD plans to release the drive in the second quarter of 2005.
The market for this form-factor of hard disk is set to explode as an increasing number of devices, such as MP3 players, PDAs, digital still and digital video cameras rely on one-inch drives.
"We are witnessing a global cultural revolution in portable digital entertainment,” said John Monroe, a research vice president at Gartner. “Hard-drive enabled MP3 players are already becoming ubiquitous, and by 2008, at least eight per cent of mobile phones could contain a hard drive. These are enormous new markets. It now seems likely that one-inch hard drive shipments exceeded 8 million units in 2004, up from only 903,000 units in 2003.”
The one-inch hard drive will spin at 3,600 RPM and have an access time of 12ms. It will be available in capacities up to 6GB. This new hard drive will be offered with the standard CF II interface form factor enabling it to fit into millions of currently available devices as well as future products. It will feature WD's anti-skip technology that helps deliver uninterrupted audio and video playback and will also incorporate WD's patent-pending advanced power management techniques to enable the longest possible battery life.