Hard Drive Hitachi 500GB 2.5" Travelstar

Hitachi on Tuesday announced that is it shipping its fifth-generation, 7200 RPM mobile hard drive, the Travelstar 7K500.

The 500GB, 2.5-inch, 3Gb/s SATA drive is intended for notebooks, gaming systems and external storage and is the fastest hard drive in its class, according to the company.

The 7K500 improves upon its predecessor in application speed and offers “best-of-breed” shock protection and power management, according to Hitachi.

The 2.5-in. mobile HDD market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16.8 percent from 2008 to 2013, according to figures from IDC.

For IT pros, the drive includes hardware-based Bulk Data Encryption (BDE) as an option, and the drive is compliant with the Trusted Computing Group’s Opal storage security specification, an open standard designed to strengthen data protection and safeguard notebooks in the event of system loss or theft.

When the Hitachi BDE option is enabled, the hard drive will encrypt all data that comes from the system as it is written to the media. When read back, the drive decrypts the data so that it can be understood by the system. Since the hard drive is doing the encryption work, there is no impact on system performance. A Hitachi hard drive with BDE is always automatically encrypting data, so the system user never has to worry about whether or not the data is being protected. For commercial or corporate IT managers with a large pool of systems, BDE also speeds up and simplifies the drive re-deployment process. By deleting the encryption key, the data is rendered unreadable, thereby eliminating the need for time-consuming data-overwrite.

The drive also touts low power consumption at 0.69 watts idle power and 1.8 watts during read/write operations, and it sports a low power, halogen-free design as well as RoHS compliance.

The Travelstar 7K500 is now shipping in limited quantities to top tier OEMs, and volume shipments will begin this month. Capacities available include 120GB, 160GB, 250GB, 320GB and 500GB.

Hitachi will also offer an enhanced-availability (EA) version, available in 160GB to 500GB capacities in November 2009. The EA version is specifically designed for applications requiring 24×7 operation in lower transaction environments, such as blade servers, network routers and surveillance systems.