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Hitachi unveils energy-efficient HDD for PCs

Posted: 25 Oct 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:HDD  green initiative  power reduction 


Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) has released the Deskstar P7K500, an energy efficient desktop HDD designed for commercial and consumer PCs in capacities ranging from 250- to 500Gbyte. The P7K500 is also up to 59 per cent more power efficient than comparable 250Gbyte hard drives in its class, based on available specifications.

The company has implemented a set of power-saving technologies to reduce the P7K500's active and idle power consumption by up to 40 per cent over the previous generation. As a result, the HDD achieves what Hitachi touts as the besting-breed power consumption on its one-disk model and significant power savings on its two-disk model, both with 7200 RPM performance and serial ATA interface.

The power specifications offered on the Deskstar P7K500 also support the green initiatives aimed at producing power-friendly PCs and give significant advantage to PC manufacturers wishing to create ENERGY STAR-compliant devices. ENERGY STAR PCs are allotted a budget of as low as 50W for idle power, of which the hard drive typically uses 7W, or 14 per cent of the overall system requirement.

Through a 40-per cent power reduction, Hitachi GST has delivered idle power utilisation of 3.6W on the 250Gbyte capacity model and 4.8W on models with capacities of 320Gbyte or greater. Similarly, the P7K500 has reduced its active power requirements to 6.4W and 8.2W for its one- and two-disk models, respectively. By utilising roughly half the 7W of idle power typically allocated for hard drives, the company has enabled ENERGY STAR PCs to budget more power margin for additional high-value features or to reduce overall power requirements.

Built using Hitachi GST's sixth-generation power management technology, as well as other new energy innovations, P7K500 represents a significant decrease in power consumption over its predecessor as well as competitive hard drives in its class. In addition, the P7K500 incorporates Hitachi GST's second-generation perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) heads and disks, enabling 250Gbyte-per-platter areal density and ensuring a high level of reliability.

"The development of 'green' computing products that comply with energy-rating programs, such as ENERGY STAR 4.0, is becoming an extremely important initiative for our customers," said Shinjiro Iwata, executive VP, Hitachi GST. "With the Deskstar P7K500 hard drive, we have merged our various power management innovations into one drive, achieving leading power specifications that make a positive contribution to system power consumption."

Green initiatives
"Energy expenses related to IT hardware in the data center and in the office are becoming a significant cost for organisations," according to John Rydning, IDC's research manager for HDDs. "IT hardware component suppliers will need to do their part to help improve the overall power consumption of PCs, servers and storage systems, and Hitachi GST's next-generation HDDs with reduced power consumption is a step in the right direction."

Hitachi GST achieved the Deskstar P7K500's 40-per cent power reduction through three substantial design changes. Using the company's HiVERT technology, the Deskstar P7K500 increases the use of switching regulators in place of linear regulators for more efficient voltage conversion in the electronics. The drive has also adopted the Travelstar SoC design with a more power-efficient profile, which further reduces power consumption.

Finally, all of the Deskstar hard drives incorporate Hitachi GST's Advanced Power Management capabilities, which have been implemented for six product generations. These capabilities significantly lower the power consumption of hard drives while in idle mode, which is most of the time. The Deskstar P7K500 also takes advantage of Hitachi GST's patented load/unload technology to allow for additional power reductions:

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