Hitachi Announces Baby Microdrive

Hitachi's has announced new smaller, higher capacity hard disk drives designed for the next generation consumer electronics devices.

Hitachi has announced that it has re-engineered its one inch Microdrive range to offer 8-10GBs of capacity, while reducing its size by 20-per cent. Hitachi has chosen to name its new slimmed down Microdrive ‘Mikey’. ‘Mikey’ will also bring up to a 40-percent reduction in power consumption over the existing Microdrive product.

With dimensions of 40 x 30 x 5mm the drive is designed for small portable consumer electronics handheld devices that could benefit from having large amounts of storage available. One possible use we’re envisioning is next generation mobile phones or digital audio players. As such it will have a new ZIF connector that will ease integration and lower design costs.

Hitachi claims that it has provided for additional methods of shock protection beyond the drive’s internal mechanisms, which will offer more than a 100-percent operating-shock improvement over the current Microdrive product. Hitachi has also designed “snubbers” or drive bumpers that could be mounted around “Mikey” to supply additional shock protection.

Hitachi has also trimmed 30 per cent off the thickness of its new 1.8inch TravelStar product to create a 5mm version, also featuring a nickname, called ‘Slim’. ‘Slim’ is also light at 49 grams. “Slim” will come in one and two-disk versions, offering 30-40 and 60-80 GB of storage, respectively. ‘Slim’s’ physical dimensions are expected to be 71 x 54 x 5 mm on the one-disk model, while the two-disk model will differ just slightly with an 8-mm height instead of 5 mm. Hitachi anticipates “Slim” will offer a 10-20 percent shock improvement over its predecessor, making it the most rugged drive in its category.

Like his smaller brethren, ‘Mikey,’ ‘Slim’ will also feature a ZIF connector for easy integration into consumer electronics devices. Applications expected to benefit from ‘Slim’s’ small footprint and large storage capability include external storage, high-capacity portable video and audio devices, sub-notebooks and tablet PCs, and navigation devices.

‘Mikey’ is expected to make his debut in the second half of 2005 at a mere 14 grams and in an embedded-only design. “Slim” will also make his entrance in the latter half of the year with 30-40 GB of capacity on the one-disk version.


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