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Hitachi Intros 4 GB Microdrive

$500 storage device coming in November By Dave Nagel
Hitachi has announced a 4 GB version of its Microdrive, a miniature storage device designed for digital cameras and other small electronics. The company says it's shipping qualification samples of the drive to manufacturers worldwide now and expects it to be on retail shelves by November.

Hitachi's Microdrive is 1 inch in diameter and weighs half an ounce. The new model, aside from gaining increased capacity over previous Microdrives, also sees an increase in data transfer rates of 70 percent and uses a new read-write head (femto slider head) that's half the size of its predecessors, resulting in a 40 percent decrease in the height at which the head travels above the disk platter. It's designed for compatibility with devices that support CompactFlash Type II media and uses the FAT32 file system to move beyond the 2 GB barrier of the previous FAT16 system.

Hitachi says manufacturers currently evaluating the drive include Blaupunkt, Kodak, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Sigma and Sony. Hitachi will continue selling the 1 GB Microdrive and will also introduce a 2 GB version later this year. The 4 GB drive is expected to ship in November for $499. For more information, visit

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Mac OS, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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