Fujitsu puts Serial ATA into notebook drives

In what it claims to be an industry first, Fujitsu has unveiled a series of hard drives for notebooks based on the Serial ATA specification, speeding up data transfer and simplifying connectivity

Fujitsu has announced what it claims is the first line of notebook hard drives using the Serial ATA standard, which boosts data transfer speed, among other improvements.

The MHT20xxBH hard-drive series will be the first 2.5-inch Serial ATA drive on the market when it becomes available at the end of April, Fujitsu said. The company is aiming to sell two million of the units in the first year after launch.

Serial ATA is an Intel-backed initiative to create an inexpensive, fast technology for connecting hard disks connect to the PC. First-generation Serial ATA transfers data at 150 megabytes per second (MB/s), compared with the 100 MB/s of the ATA/100 standard currently found in most high-end desktops.

It is expected to be cheaper than the 133 MB/s ATA/133 standard and the 160 MB/s Ultra160 SCSI standard, and is software-compatible with existing software and BIOS.

Fujitsu's hard-disk series supports the Serial ATA II Phase I specification, with 150 MB/s transfer rate, and will be available in 40GB, 60GB and 80GB capacities. Spindle speed is 5,400 RPM and data density is 10.7 gigabits per square centimetre, or 69 gigabits per square inch, Fujitsu said.

Serial ATA has received a mixed response from industry observers, with some arguing that its benefits -- including faster speed, easier-to-use cabling and lower cost compared with SCSI -- amount to little more than an incremental upgrade.