Friday, February 29, 2008

Fujitsu Unveils Mobile Hard Disk Drive with 500GB Capacity

Fujitsu, a leading maker of various electronics equipment, on Monday announced intention to produce 500GB hard disk drive for mobile and small form-factor applications. Fujitsu follows Hitachi, which unveiled its 2.5” 500GB hard drive early this year.

Fujitsu MHZ2 BT-series hard disk drives (HDDs) will require only 1.8W of power for read and write operations, ranking them among the most power-efficient drives in its class. However, the new drive features 4200rpm spindle speed, which will inevitable affect performance negatively.

It is interesting to note that MHZ2 BT 500GB model will use three 166GB platters, just like Hitachi’s offering unveiled in early 2008. The new drives will use Serial ATA interconnection.

Large 500GB hard drives are likely to become popular among makers of mobile workstations and gaming systems as professionals and gamers tend to demand higher performance as well higher storage capacities among other things. Unfortunately, 4200rpm spindle speed will keep certain users away from 500GB offering of Fujitsu, as its performance is likely to be lower compared to normal HDDs with 5400rpm spindle speed, not talking about 7200rpm mobile offerings.

Since the new 2.5” hard drives utilize three 166GB platters, the new HDDs have 12.5mm height, while normally mobile hard disk drives use two platters and have 9.5mm height. As a result, not all notebook chassis are compatible with the new mobile HDDs by Fujitsu and Hitachi. Still, considering that the new devices are mainly positioned for multimedia-oriented notebook systems that have plenty of space inside chassis, such limitation is unlikely to become a significant drawback.

The Fujitsu MHZ2 BT will be available worldwide in late May, 2008. Pricing of the 500GB HDD remains to be seen.

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