Hitachi announces high-density desktop drives

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has announced two new 3.5" desktop drives with high density platters. The Deskstar T7K500 and 7K160 will feature 7,200RPM spindle speeds, 16MB and 8MB respective cache sizes, as well as support for 300MB/s Serial ATA transfer speeds and Native Command Queuing. The T7K500 will be available in 500GB, 400GB, 320GB, and 250GB capacities, while the 7K160 will only show up in smaller 160GB and 80GB flavors. What sets these drives apart from the flock is their use of high-density platters, which pack more than 160GB onto a single disc. Seagate's Barracuda 7200.9 is the only other 160GB/platter drive on the market, and it's only available in 160GB and 80GB capacities. The use of 160GB platters will allow Hitachi to produce the 500GB T7K500 with only three platters, which should reduce noise and power consumption relative to existing offerings that require up to five platters for the same capacity.

Aside from the high-density platters, the new T7K500 and 7K160 drives will also sport some new features. Hitachi's Thermal Fly Height Control system will monitor temperatures inside the drive via a thermal sensor, and will use the information to make adjustments to reduce error rates in high-temperature environments. There will also be an optional low power mode, which Hitachi says will reduce power requirements and heat output. Disappointingly, Hitachi will stick to its policy of only offering three-year warranties for these upcoming consumer drives, which are expected to ship worldwide in "early 3Q 2006." Thanks to DailyTech for tipping us off.

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