Most recent digital camera and imaging news items - RSSDigital camera and imaging news items - HTML



Hitachi's Mikey will be the smallest one-inch hard drive with 8-10 GB






PRESS SUMMARY

Hitachi's Mikey will be the smallest one-inch hard drive with 8-10 GB - digital camera and photography newsJan 05, 2005 03:05

Hitachi's Hard Drive Family is Expecting Two New Babies; Baby ''Mikey'' and Big Brother ''Slim'' Expand Biggest Small-Form-Factor Family

LAS VEGAS --(Business Wire)-- Jan. 5, 2005 Hitachi Global Storage Technologies will christen a smaller one-inch Microdrive product and a slimmer 1.8-inch hard drive later this year. These two miniature drives are designed to meet the accelerating demand for ultra-portable handheld devices -- such as mobile phones and digital music players -- that don't compromise on storage capacity.
Hitachi will deliver on these requirements by re-engineering its world-renowned one-inch Microdrive to create a 20-percent smaller version with the highest capacity at 8-10 gigabytes(1) (GB) of storage. The new smaller Microdrive is affectionately called baby "Mikey" for its diminutive size.

Applying a similar approach to a new 1.8-inch Travelstar product, Hitachi will trim 30 percent off the thickness of the drive to create a 5 mm version, nicknamed "Slim." With a slighter profile equivalent to that of the Microdrive, "Slim" will be the world's smallest and lightest 1.8-inch drive, beating the closest competitor by 10 percent in total volume.

The new babies in the Hitachi family represent a novel approach to the hard drive industry's continuing quest for high capacity in smaller and smaller form factors. Hitachi is retaining the one-inch and 1.8-inch disk size for maximum capacity, but trimming the package footprint for greater agility. "Mikey" is expected to make his debut in the second half of 2005 at a mere 14 grams and in an embedded-only design. "Slim" will also make his entrance in the latter half of the year with 30-40 GB of capacity on the one-disk version.

"Hitachi believes the fundamental benefit of the hard drive is its ability to offer the best value at high capacities -- and that's even clearer today in the consumer environment," said Bill Healy, senior vice president, product strategy and marketing, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "We developed 'Mikey' and 'Slim' in a way that doesn't compromise that value, but rather gives consumers more of what they want. And the combination of 'Mikey' and the 'Slim' will offer customers an unmatched offering for their smallest consumer devices."

Smallest, Biggest One-Inch Drive

"Mikey" will be the industry's smallest one-inch hard drive with the highest storage capacity, between 8-10 GB. With a physical dimension of 40 x 30 x 5 mm, it is designed for the smallest handheld devices with needs for ample, yet, affordable storage. In addition, through an integrated chipset, "Mikey" will enable up to a 40-percent reduction in power consumption over the existing Microdrive product.

"Mikey" is being tailored for the CE industry and will employ a new ZIF connector, which has been traditionally used by CE device manufacturers for ease of integration. In addition, the ZIF connector on Hitachi's new drive may also result in lower design and integration costs and greater reliability for device manufacturers.

Because the applications for which "Mikey" is intended are highly portable devices, Hitachi has provided for additional methods of shock protection beyond the drive's internal mechanisms, which will offer more than a 100-percent operating-shock improvement over the current Microdrive product. Hitachi has also designed "snubbers" or drive bumpers that could be mounted around "Mikey" to supply additional shock protection.

With more than five years of experience and five million one-inch drives under its belt, Hitachi has gained incomparable knowledge in manufacturing a reliable design in high volume that has been successfully field-tested in a variety of consumer electronic devices. This is made possible by an established supplier base, a highly-efficient manufacturing process and a meticulous quality-assurance procedure.

"Slim"

At 49 grams, "Slim" is not only thin, but also light. The combination of these will result in a lean product with large storage capacity. "Slim" will come in one- and two-disk versions, offering 30-40 and 60-80 GB of storage, respectively. "Slim's" physical dimensions are expected to be 71 x 54 x 5 mm on the one-disk model, while the two-disk model will differ just slightly with an 8-mm height instead of 5 mm.

The litheness of this drive is due, in part, to Hitachi's implementation of the femto slider, which was first used in 2003 on Hitachi's Travelstar 7K60 2.5-inch hard drive for notebook computers and later on the one-inch Microdrive family of products, including "Mikey." The femto slider -- or the tiny flying wing supporting the read/write head above the surface of the disk -- represents a 30-percent size reduction over the previous pico slider technology and is also responsible for the higher shock robustness on "Slim." Hitachi anticipates "Slim" will offer a 10-20 percent shock improvement over its predecessor, making it the most rugged drive in its category.

Like his smaller brethren, "Mikey," "Slim" will also feature a ZIF connector for easy integration into consumer electronics devices. Applications expected to benefit from "Slim's" small foot print and large storage capability include external storage, high-capacity portable video and audio devices, sub-notebooks and tablet PCs, and navigation devices.

Attention to Standards

Both "Mikey" and "Slim" are expected to be compliant with the CE-ATA interface, which is now being defined by an Intel-led consortium, of which Hitachi is a founding member. The consortium is working to develop an interface that is tailored to the needs of handheld and portable consumer electronic devices such as mobile phones, personal digital assistants and MP3 players. Other interface standards are also expected to be supported, depending on customer requirements.
January 5, 2005
go to top of page