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Hitachi announces second-generation terabyte drive

Hitachi announces the Deskstar 7K1000.B, a three-disk 1TB hard drive.

The Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B spreads 1TB of capacity over only three platters. Hitachi

Hitachi was first to hit the terabyte mark when it announced the 1TB Deskstar 7K1000 hard drive in January 2007. Fast forward a year and a half, and the company is back with not a larger version of the drive but a more efficient model in the Deskstar 7K1000.B. Like its predecessor, the 7K1000.B is a 3.5-inch, 7,200rpm hard drive that serves up 1TB of storage space and a 32MB buffer. It hits that magic terabyte mark, however, by using only three disks--down from the five-disk design of the older 1TB drive. It also borrows from Hitachi's 2.5-inch mobile drives and includes Bulk Data Encryption.

Hitachi says the new three-disk design improves idle power consumption up to 43 percent compared with last year's model. Fewer platters should also mean improved reliability, acoustics, and seek times. The Deskstar 7K1000.B also matches Samsung's Spinpoint F1, which was the first three-disk drive to offer 1TB of capacity.

While desktops go missing at a much slower rate than laptops, that didn't deter Hitachi from offering Bulk Data Encryption on the Deskstar 7K1000.B. This feature encrypts data as it is written to the drive and decrypts when it's retrieved. This hard drive-level security is superior to software or system-level security measures, and it has no impact on system performance.

The Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B will sell for $239 when it starts shipping later this month. Hitachi will also ship the Deskstar E7K1000 this month for $279, an enterprise version of the drive designed for low-duty-cycle, 24x7 applications.