Hitachi Ramps 6GB 1-inch Microdrive

Users of miniature MP3 players and other storage-demanding handheld consumer
electronics can rejoice today as Hitachi Global Storage Technologies begins
shipping its 6GB one-inch hard drive in high volume. As the leader in one-inch
hard drives, Hitachi is raising the stakes by making available the new
Microdrive 3K6 with a suggested retail price reduction of up to 60 percent.
Hitachi is making all this possible, now, at a significant price reduction,
retailing the 6 GB Microdrive for $ 299 USD or pennies per megabyte. The
Microdrive 3K6 is available in removable Compact Flash Type II and embedded
versions. Broad-scale retail availability is expected in late February,
depending on the region.

Hitachi Hitachi Ramps 6GB 1 inch Microdrive

Users of miniature MP3 players and other storage-demanding handheld consumer
electronics can rejoice today as Hitachi Global Storage Technologies begins
shipping its 6 gigabyte* (GB) one-inch hard drive in high volume. As the leader
in one-inch hard drives, Hitachi is raising the stakes by making available the
new Microdrive 3K6 with a suggested retail price reduction of up to 60 percent.

With 6 GB, the new Microdrive lets consumers carry even more of what they love
–1500-3000 songs, 6,000 pictures (1 MB each) or 8 hours of MPEG-4 video**.
Hitachi is making all this possible, now, at a significant price reduction,
retailing the 6 GB Microdrive for $ 299 USD or pennies per megabyte. Hitachi’s
new suggested retail pricing represents the best value of capacity, reliability
and performance at a price point that’s affordable to virtually all owners of
consumer devices . The Microdrive 3K6 is available in removable Compact Flash
Type II and embedded versions.

In its fourth generation, the newest Hitachi Microdrive product combines a
mature architecture and unmatched reliability with industry-leading storage
capacity. The Microdrive’s high standard of quality and breakthrough capacity
are what users of consumer electronics products have come to expect. Hitachi is
also seeing growing interest from makers of personal digital assistants and
mobile phones in using the Microdrive as the preferred technology for miniature,
high-capacity storage.

"The entertainment and experiences that consumers carry with them in portable
digital devices are priceless; our intent with the higher capacity and lower
pricing of the new Microdrive is to let a greater number of users enjoy the
benefit of keeping their precious data close at hand," said Bill Healy, senior
vice president, product strategy and marketing, Hitachi Global Storage
Technologies. "The desire for smaller devices with increasingly larger
capacities won’t be easily met in the short term, but we believe the 6 GB
Microdrive will satisfy consumers’ immediate needs while we work on developing
ever higher capacities in future Microdrive products."

Hitachi recently announced plans for a 20-percent smaller one-inch hard drive
with 8-10 GB of capacity. The new drive — nicknamed "Mikey," the baby
Microdrive — is expected later this year.

Priced to Sell
For the first time since its 1999 introduction, the new-generation Microdrive
product is being offered at a suggested retail price of $ 299, representing a
40-percent reduction of Hitachi’s standard debut price of $ 499 for the one-inch
product. The 4 GB version of the Microdrive 3K6 will be offered at $ 199,
representing a 60-percent decrease.

The change in Hitachi ‘s pricing structure is made possible through a more
efficient and developed, high-volume manufacturing process. It was also
implemented to enable a greater set of users to enjoy the Microdrive benefits of
high capacity, portability and flexibility for use in a host of devices.

"The Microdrive has always been a hot commodity at a great price due to its
reliability and unique position in the market," said Brian Campbell, president,
Pexagon Technology. "But now, with lower price points and more capacity, the
Microdrive is an even better value for users of handheld devices and digital
cameras."

Pexagon Technology is the North American distributor for Hitachi’s retail
Microdrive products. Using a 4 GB Microdrive, Pexagon recently developed a
USB-based external storage device under its own label.

A Time Tested Design
Hitachi ‘s latest Microdrive gives consumers more capacity for less. The 3K6 is
intended to satisfy the current appetite for more storage on handheld
consumer-electronic applications, especially digital music players, personal
digital assistants and digital still/video cameras. Hitachi has increased
storage capacity on the new Microdrive 3K6 by 50 percent over the previous
generation.

The 3K6 continues the Microdrive family’s leadership in technology, offering a
30 percent performance improvement over its predecessor. The drive is available
in 4 and 6-GB capacities and comes to the market in very high demand. Hitachi
has significantly increased production to several million units per quarter to
meet the growing demand for Microdrive products.

Hitachi has already shipped several hundred thousand Microdrive 3K6 products to
customers and retail outlets worldwide. Broad-scale retail availability is
expected in late February, depending on the region.

Technical Specifications

Microdrive 3K6
6/4 GB
5 mm in height
16 grams
3,600 rpm
78 billion bits per square inch maximum areal density
1 glass disk platter
2 GMR recording heads
2000 G/1ms non-operating shock,
200 G/2ms operating shock
8.3 ms average latency
12 ms average seek time
230/280 mA — current (write) for +3.3VDC/+5VDC (± 5%)
13/15 mA — current (standby) for +3.3VDC/+5VDC (± 5%)
1.8 Bels typical idle acoustics
2.1 Bels typical operating acoustics

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