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Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Hitachi GST Ships Second-Generation 7,200 RPM 2.5-inch Hard Drives

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies is now shipping its new 500GB, Travelstar Z7K500 drive - the industry's fastest and highest capacity, one-disk, 7,200 RPM HDD.

The company also announced that it has shipped more than 25 million Travelstar Z-series, 7 millimeter (mm) z-height, 2.5-inch hard disk drives (HDD). All Hitachi GST Z-series drives can serve as a direct replacement for standard, 2.5-inch 9.5mm hard drives. They feature common connectors and mounting points for simple integration into existing systems.

The new 7,200 RPM Travelstar Z7K500 family features a 6Gb/s SATA interface as well as a 32MB cache and 7,200 RPMs. HGST claims that rugged Travelstar Z7K500 delivers up to 33 percent more performance in PCMark Vantage testing than other 2.5-inch hard drives on the market.

The new 7,200 RPM Travelstar Z7K500 family also features 1.8 watts (W) read/write power and 0.8W low-power idle, and delivers a nearly silent operation at 2.3 idle/2.4 seek bels. They also feature Advanced Format, which increases the physical sector size on HDDs from 512 bytes to 4,096 (4K) bytes, thereby improving drive capacity and error correction capabilities.

HGST also offers specific Travelstar Z7K500 drive models with a self encrypting drive (SED) designed to meet the highest standards for protecting data, and an enhanced-availability (EA) model for applications needing around-the-clock data access in lower-transaction environments.

The Travelstar Z7K500 family comes in 500GB, 320GB and 250GB capacities. Volume shipments will begin in March.

A key part of Intel's Ultrabook specification is combining a 7mm HDD with a SSD cache, giving OEMs the ability to explore the limits of modern ultra thin and light designs without sacrificing capacity, performance or battery life. For instance, a Hitachi 7mm HDD combined with an SSD cache can help OEMs meet the Ultrabook specification for performance and start up times, while providing a high-capacity and cost-effective solution. Based on Hitachi's OEM customer plans, this combination is expected to ship in a significant majority of Ultrabooks in 2012.

"We expect cache SSD shipments to soar over the next couple of years due to the rise in Ultrabook demand," said Ryan Chien, research associate for memory & storage at IHS. "Shipments of cache SSD units in 2012 are projected to reach 25.7 million units - a 2,817 percent increase compared to 2011 - and will reach approximately 121 million units by 2015. This growth is extremely significant for HDD manufacturers, as combining slim magnetic storage with caching SSDs gives customers high-speed access to massive amounts of storage at an affordable price."

When designing today's portable and compact solutions, solid state drives (SSD) offer great performance, but currently none come close to the cost-per-gigabyte economics of hard drives as SSDs are largely cost prohibitive for the mainstream ultra-portable consumer market. SSDs can be 12 times more expensive on a cost per gigabyte basis when compared to Hitachi Z-series drives. Competing hybrid drives such as those offered by Seagate are another option, but HGST claims that current implementations do not offer the 7mm form factor and may not meet price/performance targets.


Model(s) Standard Models
BDE Option Models
EA Models
SATA 6Gb/s
Capacity (GB)
500 / 320 / 250
500 / 320
Sector size (variable, Bytes/sector)
Recording zones
Max areal density (Gbits/sq. in.)
Data buffer (MB)
Rotational Speed (RPM)
Latency Average (ms)
Media transfer rate (Mbits/sec, max)
Interface transfer rate (MB/sec, max)
Seek time: Average (typical)ms(read)
Seek time: Track to track (typical)ms(read)
Seek time: Full Stroke (typical)ms(read)
Load/Unload Cycles
Power on hours (POH) per month
Availability (hrs/day x days/wk)
Idle (Bels)
Seek (Bels, typical)
Requirement: Start-up (W, peak, max)
Requirement: Read/Write (W, avg)
Requirement: Low power idle (W, avg)
Requirement: Standby (W, avg)
Dissipation: Seek (W, Avg)
Dissipation: Active Idle (W, Avg)
Performance Idle
Sleep (W)
Physical size
Z-height (mm)
Dimensions (width x depth, mm)
Weight (g, max)
Environmental (operating)
Ambient temperature
0º to 60ºC
Shock (half-sine wave)
400G/2ms, 225G/1ms
Environmental (non-operating)
Ambient temperature
-40º to 65ºC
Shock (half-sine wave)

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