News Releases


Hitachi America Announces New DVD-ROM Drives Featuring DVD-RAM Media Read Capability

Nov 15, 1999 08:38 AM

-- Fifth Generation Drives From Industry Leader Read Data From All Standard Removable Optical Discs --

BRISBANE, CA,, November 15, 1999 — Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT), today announced that it has begun shipping its GD-5000 DVD-ROM drive to computer OEMs and multimedia PC upgrade kit suppliers. The new drive can read any currently available 120-cm optical disc, including all types of CDs, write-once DVD-R, and rewritable DVD media recorded using a standard DVD-RAM drive.

The GD-5000 is the fifth-generation DVD-ROM drive from Hitachi, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of both read-only and rewritable DVD drives for use in desktop computer and storage library products. It is one of the fastest DVD-ROM drives available today, with data transfer rates up to 11.08 Megabytes (MB) per second for DVD-ROM and 6.0 MB/s (40X Max) for CD-ROM, and enhanced data access times for all types of media.

With full read compatibility for all types of industry standard pre-recorded and recordable media, Hitachi’s latest generation DVD-ROM drive is a powerful tool for individuals and enterprises to share data of all types. Data recorded on legacy CDs and on standard rewritable DVD media formats now can be accessed on a single, affordable drive. The GD-5000 can read pressed discs and recorded data on the following types of media.

• DVD-RAM (rewritable) and DVD-R (recordable) single-sided media complying with DVD Forum published standard specifications. The user simply removes the recorded media from its protective cartridge and loads it into the drive tray.

• Single- and multi-layer DVD-ROM and DVD-Video. To view video content, user systems must have either software or hardware-supported MPEG-2 decoding capability.

• All pre-recorded and writable CDs, including CD-ROM, CD-R/RW, PhotoCD, Audio and Video CD. Any protective cartridge used with the writable CD media must be removed.

With its combination of flexibility and industry-leading performance, Hitachi expects that the GD-5000 will be widely used by OEMs, integrators and resellers serving computer end-users. The drive uses the personal computer industry standard IDE/ATAPI bus interface, supporting burst transfer rates of 33.3 MB/s (Ultra DMA Mode 2) and 16.6 MB/s (PIO Mode 4). In addition to its fast (8X) data transfer rate, the GD-5000 has typical data access rates of 120 ms when reading DVD media, and 90 ms when reading CD media. When reading DVD-RAM media, the data transfer rate is 1.38 MB/s.

Hitachi sells the GD-5000 drive in volume quantities to computer manufacturers and systems integrators for installation in new computer systems, and through distributors for re-sale as upgrade kits through retail channels. These companies establish the suggested resale and actual street prices for systems including the drive.

Hitachi America, Ltd., Computer Division, supplies high-performance computer storage products and multimedia products to OEMs, value-added resellers, system integrators and distributors. The division's products include high-capacity hard disk drives and optical drives, digital multimedia recorders, hand-held computers, LCD projectors, color laser beam printers and flat panel displays.

Hitachi America, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., Japan, markets and manufactures a broad range of electronics, computer systems, consumer electronics 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, Japan, is one of the world's leading global electronics companies, with fiscal 1998 (ended March 31, 1999) consolidated sales of 7,977 billion yen ($65.9 billion*). 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

*At an exchange rate of 121 yen to the dollar.