Product 2.0: Hitachi GST Reduces Hard-Drive Power Consumption

Dec. 20, 2007
Advanced power management, system-on-chip technologies should give a boost to Energy Star-compliant product certification strategies

The trend toward the greening of IT will continue to be a driving force behind IT product development efforts as PC and server OEMs build products to comply with global energy-rating programs. Every component within these systems must also be specified to contribute to reductions in overall power consumption.

With this in mind, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies' (GST) desktop hard disk drives (HDDs) have incorporated Advanced Power Management capabilities to reduce power consumption.

According to Hitachi, its Deskstar P7K500 hard drive provides customers with up to a 40 percent improvement over previous-generation products by reducing power in both idle and active modes. This reduction was achieved by using system-on-chip (SOC) technology adapted from Hitachi's 2.5-inch mobile product line, where low power has long been a key design attribute to maximize battery life in notebook PCs. This SOC incorporates Hitachi Voltage Efficiency Regulator Technology in which switching regulators are used in place of the less-power-efficient linear regulators in the voltage reduction processes.

Also included in the SOC is a more power-efficient module for the SATA and PATA interfaces. Together with the new technologies incorporated into the Deskstar P7K500 HDD, Hitachi GST's Advanced Power Management capabilities have reduced the overall power consumption of the HDD to industry-leading levels. Through the use of Hitachi GST's patented load/unload technology, the Deskstar P7K500 HDD allows for additional power reductions:

Unload idle -- The heads are safely unloaded to the ramp and the servo is shut off; this mode delivers power savings of 11 percent better than idle mode.
  • Low RPM idle -- The heads are safely unloaded to the ramp, the servo is shut off and the spindle motor RPM is reduced; this setting achieves power savings of 44 percent better than idle mode.
  • When Advanced Power Management is enabled, the hard drive can automatically enter the lower-power idle states, described above, at intervals based on the time since the host system last accessed the hard drive. The drive can transition from normal idle (3.6W power) to unload idle (3.2W) to low RPM idle (2.0W) during periods of inactivity and return to normal operation automatically whenever the host system accesses it again. These transitions to lower-power idle states are done without intervention from the host system.

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    About the Author

    Brad Kenney | Chief Marketing Officer

    Brad Kenney is the former Technology Editor of IndustryWeek and now serves as director of the mobile/social platforms practice at R/GA, a global marketing/advertising firm in New York City.

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