Hitachi hits areal density high with 1TB platter

Hitachi's storage division has announced its first single-platter drive capable of storing a full 1TB of data, beating its rivals to the punch and prepping the way for a 4TB quad-platter drive using the same technology.

The 3.5-inch SATA disk is available in two flavours: the 7K1000.D is a 7,200RPM drive for performance uses, while the 5K1000.D drops the speed down to 5,400RPM to reduce noise and power draw.

Both versions use the same central technology: an implementation of the Advanced Format standard, which increases sector size from the previous limit of 512 bytes to a more impressive 4,096 bytes, allowing manufacturers to boost data densities while improving performance.

While 1TB - and larger, like Seagate's recently-launched 4TB monster - drives have been available for quite some time, they typically use multiple platters storing between 333GB and 750GB each. More platters means more power is required to spin the drive, and the thickness rises as each new disk is inserted into the drive.

By releasing a 1TB drive with a single platter, Hitachi is targeting home theatre systems, CCTV recorders, and other markets where low power draw and reasonably quiet operation needs to be balanced with high storage capacities.

Hitachi claims that improvements in the technology behind the drive - including its eighth generation power saving technology and HiVERT, a technology first introduced for the company's 2.5-inch laptop-friendly drives - mean an 18 per cent drop in power draw compared to the company's last generation drives.

As standard, the drives come with a 32MB buffer and a SATA 6Gb/s interface, offering a media transfer rate of around 1,822Mb/s - or around 228MB/s. That's a somewhat misleading figure, however, and actual transfer rates will be significantly lower - although how much lower, Hitachi isn't saying.

The areal density of Hitachi's latest creation is an impressive 569Gb/in², which is a figure its rivals will be trying their best to beat with future product lines.