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Faster Fujitsu drive plays catch-up

The launch of a 300GB disk drive aimed at the business market lets Fujitsu match the capacity of a drive from rival Hitachi.

Fujitsu has beefed up a disk drive for the corporate market, a move that matches rival Hitachi's introduction of a 300GB drive earlier this year.

Fujitsu Computer Products of America on Monday unveiled a 300GB drive that spins at 10,000 revolutions per minute. It also announced a 15,000 rpm drive with a capacity of up to 147GB. Compared with previous generations, storage capacity in the models has been doubled at both speeds, the company said.

The 300GB hard-disk drive will let customers build storage systems with "significant enterprise storage capacity with a focus on cost-effective performance," Joel Hagberg, vice president for marketing at Fujitsu Computer Products of America, said in a statement.

The San Jose, Calif.-based hardware company has also increased the internal data-transfer rates for both 10,000 rpm and 15,000 rpm drives by up to 25 percent. The maximum internal data transfer rate is 132MB per second for the new 10,000 rpm drives (the MAT series) and 147MB per second for the new 15,000 rpm drives (the MAU series).

The MAT and MAU products are examples of so-called "enterprise" drives that end up in server computers and dedicated storage system devices. Sales of a key class of storage gear--known as external, controller-based RAID storage--are expected to grow about 8 percent this year, thanks partly to a raft of new data-handling regulations.

Fujitsu said test products will be available in April for the 10,000 rpm drives, and in June for the 15,000 rpm drives.

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has announced a 300GB, 10,000 rpm enterprise drive as well. It holds five platters, whereas the Fujitsu product holds four. Using four platters rather than five translates into lower power consumption and lower cost, according to Fujitsu.

The new Fujitsu enterprise drives are 3.5-inch drives, meaning they are the size of drives that originally held platters 3.5-inches in diameter. Platter sizes have shrunk as the speeds of the drives have increased, though. The common width of 3.5-inch enterprise drive units is 4 inches.

Fujitsu, Hitachi and Seagate Technology have introduced smaller enterprise drives that are expected to largely replace 3.5-inch enterprise drives in coming years.