Hard drive platters are still getting denser and denser. Earlier this morning, Hitachi GST announced that it has begun shipping a new series of 3.5" mechanical hard drives featuring 1TB platters—a new density milestone, the company says.
These drives include the Deskstar 7K1000.D, which has a 7,200-RPM spindle speed, 32MB of cache, a 6Gbps Serial ATA interface, and capacities of 1TB, 750GB, 500GB, 320GB, and 250GB. Hitachi boasts that the Deskstar 7K1000.D cuts idle power draw by 15% over the "previous model" using new, "eighth-generation power management technology." The fact that the motor only has to spin a single platter is presumably helpful in cutting power consumption, as well.
For folks after even lower power draw, Hitachi serves up the 1TB platter inside its new Deskstar 5K1000.B hard drive. That model also has 32MB of cache and a 6Gbps SATA interface, but its spindle speed is lower. As far as I can tell from the spec sheet (PDF), Hitachi only offers a 1TB version of that drive.
Both the Deskstar 7K1000.D and the Deskstar 5K1000.B are "shipping today to distributors and channel partners." HItachi's also cooking up CinemaStar-branded versions of those drives for video applications, but they won't be available until the fall.
I'm a little surprised that Hitachi is only offering capacities up to 1TB for now. With 1TB platters, drives as dense as 4TB or 5TB could theoretically be feasible. Here's hoping we'll see those in the near future.