IBM, Hitachi and EZQuest Craft Specialty Hard Drives
Technology officers have always cared about the components used in servers, but with the industry focus on distributed and mobile computing, those technologies hardware parts can be equally important.
As a result, top-tier vendors such as IBM and Hitachi Ltd. and specialists such as EZQuest Inc. are developing new hard drives for specialty uses.
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Inc., the San Jose, Calif., joint venture of Hitachi Ltd. and IBM formed last year, announced several such drives last week. They include a 4GB version of IBMs Microdrive, up from the 1GB version sold today.
It will be 50 percent faster than current Microdrives, at about 6MB-to-6.5MB-per-second transfer rates, said John Osterhout, manager of the Microdrive Business Unit. The mobile drive will spin at 3,600 rpmslightly slower than previous 4,500-rpm modelsto conserve battery life, Osterhout said.
The company also announced the Travelstar C4K40, a 1.8-inch drive for tablet computers, notebooks and appliances. In 20GB and 40GB capacities, it spins at 4,200 rpm, with a 29.9M-bps transfer rate. Another new drive, the Travelstar DK23FA-20J, is tailored for automotive uses such as Global Positioning System navigation. The 2.5-inch, 20GB drive operates from -20 to 85 degrees Celsius and withstands higher gravitational forces than standard drives, officials said.
Pricing for the new drives will be announced this summer, when they become generally available.
Charlie ODonnell, chief technology officer of Bunker Hill Community College, in Charlestown, Mass., administers mobile devices for professors and staff. The data is "fairly important, but a lot of whats out there is individual to the instructor. We provide them with options to back it up, [but] they consciously need to copy it over," ODonnell said. So its good to have viable options to suit his varied user base, he said.
Separately, at Macworld Expo last week in San Francisco, EZQuest, of Yorba Linda, Calif., introduced its Cobra+ external drive. The drive works on Mac OS and Windows operating systems.