Hitachi's storage division has made a tiny hard drive faster and more efficient, meaning notebooks will be quicker and use less power.
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has shrunk an already tiny hard-drive component to help improve the performance of notebooks. The decrease in the size of the slider, the device that holds the read/write head on a hard drive, will let the devices conserve energy, run faster and resist accidents better, according to the company.
Later this month, the US-based unit of the Japanese electronics giant plans to release a 60GB 2.5-inch-diameter hard drive that uses the new "femto" slider. The drives will run at 7,200 revolutions per minute, faster than competing 2.5-inch notebook drives on the market, which generally run at 5,400 rpm, the company said. The increase in speed translates to a 15 percent improvement in data transfer and 20 percent reduction in average seek time.
Later in the summer, IBM will incorporate the 7K60 into notebooks, and several other major manufacturers should follow suit, Hitachi said.
The performance gain comes largely because the slider--which sits at the end of the hard-drive arm and functions like the cartridge for a needle on a turntable--is 30 percent smaller and contains about 60 percent less mass than sliders inside competing hard drives. Slider sizes shrink