Western Digital releases its first 1.5TB mobile drive

Hard drive features industry's highest capacity for 9.5mm-high drive

Western Digital's HGST subsidiary today announced what it is calling the industry's densest mobile hard-disk drive, with capacities of up to 1.5TB in a 9.5mm (.37-in.) high form factor.

The 2.5-in. wide disk drive contains three platters -- a first for the company in that form factor and an achievement in shock resistance.

Currently, the highest capacity for slimmer 7.5mm and 5mm height mobile drives are 500GB.

The new Travelstar 5K1500 is being targeted at a variety of market segments, including notebooks, external hard drives, gaming consoles and all-in-one desktop PCs.

Brendon Collins, vice president of product marketing for HGST, said the drive is mainly targeted at the prosumer (professional-consumer) market.

One-, two- and three-platter mobile disk drives

"That portion of market values the higher capacity drives. Today, the highest capacity on mobile drives is 1TB on two disk platters," Collins said, adding that higher areal density disks will require more development before reaching the 1.5TB mark.

"We just thought we could get there sooner by adding third disk," he said.

The HGST three-platter Travelstar 5K1500 offers 50% more capacity than currently shipping 1TB 2.5-in. 9.5mm HDDs and 200% more capacity than single-disk 500GB 7mm or 5mm 2.5-in. HDDs, the company said in a press release.

The drives also displayed better performance than HGST's current 5400rpm, two-platter drives, according to tests the company performed with PCMark Vantage and PCMark 7.

All Travelstar 5K1500 drives ship with a 32MB cache buffer and 6Gbps SATA interface.

Travelstar 5K1500 drives are expected to ship in June. The drives are designed to meet the Trusted Computer Group (TCG) Opal Storage Security specification. The optional self-encrypting Travelstar 5K1500 models will be available in 3Q 2013.

HGST would not disclose pricing for the disk as it will be sold to system manufacturers.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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