Hitachi has developed a 450GB enterprise-class hard drive with speeds of 15,000 RPM, matching Seagate for the highest-capacity hard drive at that speed level.
15,000-RPM drives are competing for customer demand with 7,200-RPM drives, which have slower speeds but offer up to 1 terabyte of capacity, more than twice that of 15,000-RPM devices, says IDC research director for hard disk drives John Rydning.
Drive manufacturers Hitachi, Seagate and Fujitsu have run into technological barriers slowing the storage growth for high-performance drives, he says. (Compare storage products.) Typically, the vendors double capacity every 18 to 24 months, but in this cycle they are instead moving from 300G to 450GB.
"The reason is that the 600GB products are forthcoming, but may not hit that 24-month window," Rydning says. "It's just getting challenging to do the higher-capacity products at 15,000-RPM. If you can do a 450GB in between, you alleviate some of your customers' storage growth pains."