6 GB Hitachi Microdrive Available Soon

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Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has begun shipping a 6 GB Microdrive.

This is a miniature hard drive small enough to fit in the CompactFlash slot that many Pocket PCs have.

With 6 GB of storage, this one card can hold 1500-3000 songs, 6,000 pictures, or 8 hours of MPEG-4 video.

The suggested retail price for the Microdrive 3K6 is $299. In addition, the suggested price of the 4 GB version is being dropped to $199.

Hitachi Microdrive 3K6 “The desire for smaller devices with increasingly larger capacities won’t be easily met in the short term, but we believe the 6 GB Microdrive will satisfy consumers’ immediate needs while we work on developing ever higher capacities in future Microdrive products,” said Bill Healy, senior vice president, product strategy and marketing, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies.

Hitachi recently announced plans for a 20-percent smaller one-inch hard drive with 8-10 GB of capacity. The new drive — nicknamed “Mikey,” the baby Microdrive — is expected later this year.

A Bit of History

IBM introduced the first 1-inch Microdrive in 1999 with a capacity of 340 MB. In 2000, the capacity was increased to 1 GB. A couple of years later, IBM sold most of its hard drive business to Hitachi and the two formed a new company called Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. Hitachi owns 70 percent of the company, IBM has 30 percent.

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