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Dennis Hissink : August 25th 2003 - 09:54 CET

Hitachi ships high performance 4GB Microdrive


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HitachiHitachi Global Storage Technologies announced that it is now shipping qualification samples of its 4GB Microdrive to consumer product manufacturers worldwide. The 1-inch drive features a data transfer rate that represents a 70 percent increase from the previous-generation Microdrive. The new drive will also continue its tradition of offering a significantly lower cost-per-megabyte than competitive solid-state memory solutions. Hitachi's 4GB Microdrive is the world's smallest hard disk drive, weighing just over a half an ounce (16 grams) and equivalent in size to a matchbook. The miniaturized hard drive is designed for users who demand maximum capacity for storing large quantities of data.
Consumer product manufacturers that are evaluating the new Microdrive for compatibility with current and future products include Blaupunkt, Kodak, Minolta Co., Ltd., Nikon, Olympus, Pentax Corporation, Sigma and Sony Corporation. Many of these industry-leading companies already support Hitachi's current-generation Microdrive in their consumer electronic devices.

The 4GB Microdrive is a major storage capacity breakthrough and the first of many storage miniaturization advancements that are being made by Hitachi's world-class product design and development team. The new drive will use ultra-miniaturized components, including a new read-write head that is half the size of its predecessor and results in a 40 percent decrease in the height at which the head travels above the disk platter. The new head technology, called the femto slider head, opens up a next generation of head slider technology.

The 4GB Microdrive is an illustration of Hitachi's commitment to leadership in the high-growth area of storage miniaturization. "Microdrive has been the crown jewel of our miniaturization efforts for the past five years," said Tsuyoshi Takahashi, general manager, Emerging Markets Business Unit, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "There is nothing else available on the market that offers a better combination of storage capacity, compact size, performance and affordability."

Hitachi's new 4GB Microdrive (officially known as the Hitachi Microdrive 3K4 series) is designed to the Compact Flash Type II industry standard and is compatible with a wide variety of devices that accept CF+ Type II media. The 4GB Microdrive is formatted at the factory using the FAT32 file system to remedy the 2GB limitation of the FAT16 file system. Therefore, when used in a digital camera, the camera must support a FAT32 file system.

Hitachi will continue to offer its current 1GB Microdrive to customers throughout the world and is planning to introduce a 2GB version of the Microdrive later this year. The company expects the new 4GB Microdrive to be available on retail shelves in major markets this November at a MSRP of $499.

Hitachi will participate, through its development partners, in major industry events such as IFA Berlin in August to demonstrate the 4GB Microdrive and discuss the underlying technology in greater detail.




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