News Releases


Hitachi America Announces New Notebook Computer Hard Disk Drives



Jan 19, 1999 09:38 AM

Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE:HIT), today announced that it has begun shipping its latest generation of high-capacity 2.5-in. disk drives for notebook computer systems.

The two new drive models use Hitachi's advanced disk drive technologies to achieve areal densities of more than 6 billion bits of data per square inch, resulting in total storage capacities of 10 Gigabytes (GB) and 6.49 GB in packages about the size of an audio cassette.

The areal densities of both new drive models are greater than any other commercially available disk drive and represent more than a 60 percent increase in data density compared to Hitachi's previous generation of 2.5-in. disk drives. The highest capacity model, the 10 GB DK229A-10 drive, has an areal density of 6.29 Gb/in2, compared to the 3.9 Gb/in2 areal density of Hitachi drives introduced last year.

The DK229A-10 hard drive can store more than two full-length DVD-quality motion pictures, with room to spare for a PC operating system and applications. In fact, the tiny 10 GB drive can store as much data as a 1,650 ft. high stack of double-spaced typed pages.

The new drives continue Hitachi's highly successful transition to Giant Magneto-Resistive (GMR) heads and EPRML (Enhanced Partial Response Maximum Likelihood) read channel technology, used in all 2.5-in. hard drives introduced by Hitachi since early 1998. The company is a leader in development and manufacturing of advanced technologies throughout its 2.5-in and 3.5-in hard drive product lines, building on its 30-year history of product development for mainframe-class storage systems and internal customer requirements. This experience has fueled a doubling and redoubling of sales volumes in the last few years, as Hitachi broadened its scope from proprietary disk drives to include standard 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch models.

"As one of the first companies to ship notebook hard drives with GMR heads, Hitachi has gained the experience to push storage density to record levels," said Gary Galusha, vice president of hard disk drive sales and marketing for Hitachi America's Computer Division, Storage Products Group. "These new high-end drives expand on Hitachi's commitment to provide a complete range of 2.5-in. drives to meet the capacity and performance requirements of notebook manufacturers and end-users."

Both of the new 2.5-in. drive models have a 4,200 RPM disc spin rate, internal data transfer rates from 10.0 - 16.6 MB/s, and the maximum drive to system data transfer rate is 33 MB/s (Ultra-DMA) using the ATA-4 interface. The drives incorporate a high-speed 512 kB data buffer, have average read seek times of just 12 ms, and a 7.1 ms latency.

With three disk platters and six read/write heads, the 10 GB DK229A-10 drive has an areal density of 6.29 Gb/in2, is only 12.7 mm high, and weighs just 130 grams. The 6.49 GB DK-239A-65 drive, with an areal density of 6.15 Gb/in2, uses only two disk platters, is 9.5 mm high, and weighs only 99 grams.

OEM samples of the drives have begun shipping, and production shipments are scheduled to begin in the current calendar quarter. These Hitachi drives will soon be available in high-performance notebook computers sold by leading U.S. manufacturers.

The Computer Division of Hitachi America, Ltd. sells high-capacity, high-performance hard disk drives, CD-ROM, and DVD drives through its Storage Products Group. Hard disk drive products include 2.5-in. IDE drives in capacities ranging from 2.16 GB to 10 GB for notebook computers, and very high-performance 3.5-in. SCSI and Fibre Channel drives in capacities of 9.1 GB to 36.8 GB for computer workstation and storage server applications. Hitachi also sells the world's fastest 3.5" SCSI and Fibre Channel disk drive, a 9.1 GB drive with a 12,000 rpm spin rate, for ultra high end applications.

Hitachi America, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., Japan, markets and manufactures a broad range of electronics, computer systems and semiconductor products, and provides industrial equipment and services throughout the U.S. Additional information is available at Hitachi America's web site at

Hitachi, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, is one of the world's leading global electronics companies, with fiscal 1997 (ended March 31, 1998) consolidated sales of 8,417 billion yen ($63.8 billion(a)). The company manufactures and markets a wide range of products, including computers, semiconductors, consumer products and power and industrial equipment. For more information on Hitachi, Ltd., please visit Hitachi 's Web site at

Note*:At an exchange rate of 132 yen to the dollar.