Hitachi’s Now Storing 1 Terabyte

In its 51st year of making hard-disk drives, Hitachi  has written the first chapter in what will likely be a long saga of 1 terabyte  gadgets for storing photos, audio and video on computers.

Hitachi’s Global Storage Technologies division today unveiled the Deskstar 7K1000, a 3.5-inch, serial ATA  gizmo that can sock away 1 trillion bytes of data. The new drive shakes up the already competitive market for consumer storage, which includes the likes of Seagate and Toshiba.

Hitachi announced the 1TB drive to kick off the Consumer Electronics Show 2007 in Las Vegas, where several consumer storage players will converge to show off their new wares for housing data in the digital age.

The 1TB Deskstar.
Source: Hitachi

For perspective, a PC equipped with the Deskstar 1K1000 can house 250,000 MP3 songs, 250 hours of high-definition video or 333,000 high-resolution JPEG photos. In short, most consumers shouldn’t run out of storage space with a 1TB drive.

Hitachi, which hasn’t shipped a drive beyond the 500 GB capacity, said the Deskstar 7K1000 will begin shipping to computer makers in the first quarter of 2007 at a suggested retail price of $399, roughly 40 cents per gigabyte.

Hitachi said that in the second quarter it will trot out a 1TB HDD from its CinemaStar line, designed for digital video recording (DVR) applications.

This is important because of the increase in demand for high-definition video, which needs four to five times the storage capacity of standard-definition video.

Hitachi plans to ship ahead of top rival Seagate, which confirmed this week that it will also launch a 1TB HDD this year.

Seagate plans to make its own impression at CES next week; the company will unveil its new FreeAgent line of external disk drives that help consumers make digital files portable to move them between computers or other digital gadgets.

With security a major concern for consumers looking to move data among different machines, the FreeAgent gadgets encrypt files and won’t leave passwords or data traces on computers.

The FreeAgent devices will include three lines: FreeAgent Go for mobile users, FreeAgent Desktop and FreeAgent Pro for heavy enterprise users. They will range from 12GB to 750GB of storage and will be priced between $199 to $419.

Hitachi and Seagate are hardly the only vendors who will play up their storage wares at CES, a haven for vendors to tempt gadget fans with the latest technologies.

Flash memory  vendors are also making some noise. Lexar Media today introduced the JumpDrive 360, a capless drive encased in a rotating metal jacket that solves the problem of misplaced caps.

Available in 1GB and 2GB capacities, JumpDrive 360 comes loaded with Lexar’s PowerToGo mobile computing software and Secure II security software, which boasts 256-bit AES encryption.

Lexar rival SanDisk announced a 32GB, 1.8-inch solid-state drive for laptops as an alternative to the magnetic hard disk.

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