Hitachi touts 'Super-Perpendicular' hard drive

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has announced a new Travelstar 5K160 2.5" mobile hard drive that uses perpendicular recording technology. The drive will offer capacities up to 160 GB, an 8 MB cache, and a 5,400 RPM spindle speed. While this won't be the first 2.5" hard drive to hit 160 GB with perpendicular recoding, Hitachi claims significantly higher reliability than other perpendicular drives thanks to a number of new additions:
  • Implementation of Hitachi-unique alloy combination and layer-deposition process produced PMR [Perpendicular Magnetic Recording] media with best-of-breed properties for corrosion resistance;
  • Use of new PMR write head greatly improved soft error rate through ability to write smaller data bits more sharply and with greater fidelity;
  • Use of the read-head alloy iridium-manganese-chromium (IrMnCr) showed more than a 2X improvement in field reliability among available hard drives using the new IrMnCr read sensor
Hitachi says these factors will help prevent corrosion, drive head instability, and interference between the drive head and the disk platter, contributing to what the company claims will be a "drive of steel." The 160 GB 5K160 will ship this summer for $269 in either ATA or Serial ATA flavors, with smaller 120 GB, 80 GB, 60 GB, and 40 GB variants to follow at undisclosed price points. Hitachi says it will also unveil a smaller 1.8" drive with the same enhanced PMR technology "in the latter half of 2006." The 1.8" drive will allegedly offer 20% lower power consumption and shorter "power-on-to-ready" time than competing offerings.
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