Fujitsu Readies 200GB Notebook Drive

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Fujitsu is planning to sell 2.5-inch hard drives with a capacity of 200GB in the first half of 2007, the company says.

The drives, intended for use in notebook PCs, will consist of two disk platters that will store up to 100GB each, for a total of up to 200GB. The largest capacity 2.5-inch drives the company currently sells store 120GB, according to Fred Hirose, a spokesperson for Fujitsu.

The higher capacity will be achieved through the use of perpendicular recording technology in the new disks, Fujitsu says.

Perpendicular recording is a method of storing information using magnetic fields to represent each bit. In disks that are commercially available today, the bits, or magnetic fields, lay flat on the disk surface. In drives using perpendicular recording, the bits stand upright. Because they take less space, more bits can be packed on the disk, and so more recording capacity is available.

Hitting a Higher Density

How many bits can be crammed in a certain amount of space is called areal density and is expressed in bits per square inch. Fujitsu's disks using perpendicular technology will have areal densities of around 150 gigabits per square inch, the company says. Its current 2.5-inch notebook drives have an areal density of 105 gigabits per square inch, Hirose says.

Fujitsu is the fourth major hard drive maker to have announced plans to sell drives using perpendicular technology. Toshiba said late last year that it will start selling 1.8-inch drives using the technology in the middle of this year. In April, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies said it was testing a 100GB, 2.5 inch drive, and Seagate Technology said it would start selling drives using the new technology later this year.

In 2004, Fujitsu had 16.5 percent of the global market for 2.5-inch drives, behind Hitachi with 49.1 percent, and Toshiba with 34.5 percent, according to market researcher IDC.

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