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Hitachi and Fujitsu tout new 100GB notebook drives

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Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and Fujitsu have both begun shipping new notebook hard-disk drives that offer more storage capacity and better performance over previous models, they said Wednesday.

Both drives, Hitachi's Travelstar 7K100 series and Fujitsu's MHV2100BH, are 2.5-inch types and are available with a maximum capacity of 100GB.

Hitachi's new drives represent the company's second generation of notebook drives with a disk rotational speed of 7,200rpm. That's significantly faster than the 5,400rpm of most notebook drives and the same as most desktop drives. The faster speed means a boost to the drive's media transfer rate: Hitachi's drive offers an improvement of 25 percent over the most competitive 5,400rpm drive, according to the company's measurements.

Compared to Hitachi's first generation 7,200rpm drives, the new models offer several improvements, said John Osterhout, director of marketing of consumer electronics drives for the San Jose-based drive maker. These include a jump by about a quarter in the rate at which data is read from the drive due to higher areal density and an increase in the drive operating shock from 200G to 300G. The new drives are also slightly quieter.

Hitachi is already producing the drives at its factory in Thailand and shipping them to customers such as Dell (Profile, Products, Articles), which is offering them in its Inspiron XPS Gen 2 system, according to Hitachi. Dell's Web site offers a 100GB drive as an option on the machine but doesn't specify the maker or drive speed.

The drives are available with Parallel ATA or Serial ATA interfaces.

Fujitsu's new MHV2100BH drive family spins at 5,400rpm and is available in capacities between 40GB and 100GB. It has a Serial ATA interface and is also in volume production, according to the company.

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