Hitachi 5K500.B 500GB 2.5-inch hard-drive with BDE & eco-credentials

Hitachi have announced a 500GB 2.5-inch hard-drive that combines optional Bulk Data Encryption (BDE) for hard-drive-level data security with environmentally-friendly features such as halogen-free design and the industry's lowest read/write power specification.  In fact, Hitachi are so pleased with the 5K500.B that they've awarded it their new EcoTrac classification: the label describes devices that minimize the eco impact of product design, manufacturing, operation and disposal.

BDE takes encryption down to the level of the hard-drive itself, rather then the software it runs.  As it is written, data is automatically encrypted using a private security key; the same key is required for reading the data back.  That means that even if the drive is removed from the computer, assuming BDE has been used the data stored on it will not be readable.  Up to four separate encrypted data ranges with multiple user and administrative authentication credentials are possible.

The Hitachi 5K500.B has a read/write power specification of 1.4W, which is good not only for the environment but for battery life in mobile devices.  It's available in capacities from 120GB to 500GB and will start shipping worldwide in December 2008.

Press Release:

Hitachi Half-Terabyte Mobile Hard Drive Takes Data Security & Green Features to the Next Level

2.5-inch Travelstar Drive Offers 500GB Capacity, Support for New Encryption Standards, Best-in-Class Power Consumption and Halogen-Free Design

SAN JOSE, Calif. –(Business Wire)– Nov 11, 2008 Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) today introduced the Travelstar 5K500.B, a mobile hard drive that combines advanced data encryption technology with eco-friendly features, such as halogen-free design and a read/write power specification that is the lowest in the industry.

The drive has earned the new Hitachi EcoTrac classification, used to describe products that minimize environmental impact in the areas of product design, manufacturing, operation and disposal.

The Travelstar 5K500.B, Hitachi's second 500GB mobile drive, uses the industry's latest 250GB-per-platter technology to deliver a half terabyte (500GB) of capacity in an industry-standard 9.5mm mobile form factor. Since entering the market in 1991, Hitachi has led innovations in the 2.5 inch segment across every measurable category: areal density, performance, power management, acoustics, shock tolerance, reliability and breadth of product options.

"We continue to see an increased demand for more efficient notebook computers," said Brendan Collins, vice president, Product Marketing, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "As interest grows, customers are asking us for hard drives that require less power, provide more data security, have great performance and are environmentally friendly. Hitachi Travelstar drives meet all of these customer demands and more, which is precisely why they continue to be the most popular 2.5-inch hard drives on the market today."

Advanced Encryption Features

The Travelstar 5K500.B features optional Bulk Data Encryption (BDE) for hard-drive-level data security. The drive is also expected to be the first in the industry to meet the forthcoming Storage Security specification established by the Trusted Computing Group (TCG), an organization focused on developing open industry standards for security hardware and software. The TCG Storage Security specification, targeting consumer and commercial applications, is intended to discourage HDD/system theft, as well as prevent data access after HDD/system disposal.

BDE encrypts data using a private security key as it is written to the disk and then decrypts it with the key as it is retrieved, giving users the highest level of data protection available. The TCG Storage Security specification implemented in the Travelstar 5K500.B supports pre-boot authentication in hardware, and up to four separate encrypted data ranges with multiple user and administrative authentication credentials. It also speeds and simplifies the drive re-deployment process. By deleting the encryption key, the data is rendered unreadable, thereby eliminating the need for time-consuming data-overwrite.

Several leading software providers are designing their enterprise management offerings to be compatible with TCG compliant hard drives, giving IT managers the ability to implement security solutions based on an industry standard.

"SECUDE software complements Hitachi's encrypted hard drives by making them capable of pre-boot authentication, which simplifies key management, remote configuration and other security functions," said Tristan Kromer, vice president, Data Protection Division, SECUDE. "Together with Hitachi, we are simplifying data encryption and delivering a higher level of IT security to consumer and commercial users worldwide."

New EcoTrac Classification

The Travelstar 5K500.B is the latest drive to be distinguished by the new Hitachi "EcoTrac" classification, due to its significantly reduced wattage (which leads to extended battery life), halogen-free design and other "green" characteristics. The drive features a read/write power specification of 1.4W, which is lower than any other 500GB 2.5-inch hard drive on the market today. The drive's low-power profile results in more energy-efficient notebooks that run cooler and have longer battery life.

As one element of Hitachi's overall corporate commitment to minimizing impact on the environment throughout the hard drive product lifecyle, the EcoTrac symbol identifies Hitachi products that deliver on the principles of:

Lower operating costs through power efficient design

Smaller carbon footprint by reducing waste during manufacturing

Safer product disposal through a reduction of toxic materials

A sustainable environment through conservation of natural resources in packaging and transportation

The Travelstar 5K500.B operates at 5400 RPM and is available in capacities ranging

from 120GB to 500GB. The half-terabyte drive can store up to 125 hours of high-definition video, 500 hours of standard video, 178 movies, 125,000 4-minute MP3s or 250 games.1

Hitachi will also offer an enhanced-availability (EA) version of the drive, called the Travelstar E5K500.B, which is designed for applications requiring 24x7 operation in lower transaction environments, such as blade servers, network routers, point-of-sale terminals and video surveillance systems.

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