Hitachi also announces a 500GB 2.5-inch hard drive

TS_5K500.B What happens when two companies announce almost the exact same product on the same day, each company making claims that it’s got the “first” of certain features? Nothing much, I guess. It’s sort of amusing if you’re into poking holes in techno-jargon.

Today Fujitsu announced a 500GB notebook drive, as did Hitachi. Hitachi promises 1.4W read/write power consumption, “which is lower than any other 500GB 2.5-inch hard drive on the market today.” Uh oh! Looks like Fujitsu is promising “a best-in-class read/write power consumption of 1.4W” too! Cat fight!

This is exactly the scenario that Powerman 5000 had in mind when the band sat down and wrote When Worlds Collide. That song is clearly all about Hitachi and Fujitsu.

Other hilarious and educational similarities:

  • Fujitsu’s “industry leading capacity of a half-terabyte” versus the fact that Hitachi’s drive offers the same amount of storage.
  • Fujitsu’s drive “features the highest capacity to support full disk encryption (FDE) in a 2.5-inch form factor” – except that Hitachi’s does too.
  • Hitachi’s drive is halogen free thanks to the company’s “EcoTrac” classification program. Fujitsu’s drive is also halogen free, but under the Fujitsu “Green Policy Innovation” program. Both green programs are powerhouses, to be sure.

And now, the key differences:

  • Hitachi sees “an increased demand for more efficient notebook computers,” while Fujitsu says that “end users are looking for reliable hard drives with the highest possible capacity.”
  • In Hitachi’s product shot, the drive tilts to the right. Fujitsu’s tilts left.

Full press release:

Hitachi Half-Terabyte Mobile Hard Drive Takes Data Security & Green Features to the Next Level

2.5-inch Travelstar Drive Offers 500GB Capacity, Support for New Encryption Standards, Best-in-Class Power Consumption and Halogen-Free Design

SAN JOSE, Calif. –(Business Wire)– Nov 11, 2008 Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) today introduced the Travelstar 5K500.B, a mobile hard drive that combines advanced data encryption technology with eco-friendly features, such as halogen-free design and a read/write power specification that is the lowest in the industry.

The drive has earned the new Hitachi EcoTrac classification, used to describe products that minimize environmental impact in the areas of product design, manufacturing, operation and disposal.

The Travelstar 5K500.B, Hitachi’s second 500GB mobile drive, uses the industry’s latest 250GB-per-platter technology to deliver a half terabyte (500GB) of capacity in an industry-standard 9.5mm mobile form factor. Since entering the market in 1991, Hitachi has led innovations in the 2.5 inch segment across every measurable category: areal density, performance, power management, acoustics, shock tolerance, reliability and breadth of product options.

“We continue to see an increased demand for more efficient notebook computers,” said Brendan Collins, vice president, Product Marketing, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. “As interest grows, customers are asking us for hard drives that require less power, provide more data security, have great performance and are environmentally friendly. Hitachi Travelstar drives meet all of these customer demands and more, which is precisely why they continue to be the most popular 2.5-inch hard drives on the market today.”

Advanced Encryption Features

The Travelstar 5K500.B features optional Bulk Data Encryption (BDE) for hard-drive-level data security. The drive is also expected to be the first in the industry to meet the forthcoming Storage Security specification established by the Trusted Computing Group (TCG), an organization focused on developing open industry standards for security hardware and software. The TCG Storage Security specification, targeting consumer and commercial applications, is intended to discourage HDD/system theft, as well as prevent data access after HDD/system disposal.

BDE encrypts data using a private security key as it is written to the disk and then decrypts it with the key as it is retrieved, giving users the highest level of data protection available. The TCG Storage Security specification implemented in the Travelstar 5K500.B supports pre-boot authentication in hardware, and up to four separate encrypted data ranges with multiple user and administrative authentication credentials. It also speeds and simplifies the drive re-deployment process. By deleting the encryption key, the data is rendered unreadable, thereby eliminating the need for time-consuming data-overwrite.

Several leading software providers are designing their enterprise management offerings to be compatible with TCG compliant hard drives, giving IT managers the ability to implement security solutions based on an industry standard.

“SECUDE software complements Hitachi’s encrypted hard drives by making them capable of pre-boot authentication, which simplifies key management, remote configuration and other security functions,” said Tristan Kromer, vice president, Data Protection Division, SECUDE. “Together with Hitachi, we are simplifying data encryption and delivering a higher level of IT security to consumer and commercial users worldwide.”

New EcoTrac Classification

The Travelstar 5K500.B is the latest drive to be distinguished by the new Hitachi “EcoTrac” classification, due to its significantly reduced wattage (which leads to extended battery life), halogen-free design and other “green” characteristics. The drive features a read/write power specification of 1.4W, which is lower than any other 500GB 2.5-inch hard drive on the market today. The drive’s low-power profile results in more energy-efficient notebooks that run cooler and have longer battery life.

As one element of Hitachi’s overall corporate commitment to minimizing impact on the environment throughout the hard drive product lifecyle, the EcoTrac symbol identifies Hitachi products that deliver on the principles of:

— Lower operating costs through power efficient design

— Smaller carbon footprint by reducing waste during manufacturing

— Safer product disposal through a reduction of toxic materials

— A sustainable environment through conservation of natural resources in packaging and transportation

— The Travelstar 5K500.B operates at 5400 RPM and is available in capacities ranging from 120GB to 500GB. The half-terabyte drive can store up to 125 hours of high-definition video, 500 hours of standard video, 178 movies, 125,000 4-minute MP3s or 250 games.

Hitachi will also offer an enhanced-availability (EA) version of the drive, called the Travelstar E5K500.B, which is designed for applications requiring 24×7 operation in lower transaction environments, such as blade servers, network routers, point-of-sale terminals and video surveillance systems.

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