Hitachi Global Storage Technologies is set to announce a new 3.5in hard disk drive family for desktop PCs. The company said the new line includes better data protection capabilities and 43 percent better idle power consumption than the Deskstar 7K1000 line.

The new Deskstar 7K1000.B models spin at up to 7,200 rpm and are available in capacities ranging from 160GB to 1TB. The disk drives, which are designed for personal and professional computers, personal storage devices and PC gaming applications, will be available next month from US$240 at the low end, said Larry Sweezey, director of consumer and commercial hard disk drives at the San Jose-based subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd.

Sweezey noted that Hitachi's second-generation Deskstar 7K1000.B drive line's three-disk configuration improves the areal density and idle power usage compared to the company's first generation 3.5in drive family, which is configured with five disks. A drive is in idle format when the disk is spinning but waiting for a data read/write command to arrive.

By shaving idle energy consumption to 5.2 watts compared to the 8.4 watts used by the Deskstar 7K1000 drives, Sweezey said IT managers could significantly lower the impact and cost of nonactive drives on electric bills. "Depending on the application, a drive can spend a good part of day and night in idle mode wasting energy; this was an area we thought was crucial in the [updated] drive design," he remarked.

To enhance data protection of stored files, photos, movies and music, an optional AES-certified bulk data encryption feature has been added to the new device to scramble data. Data is descrambled using a key, Hitachi said.

Hitachi has also announced the 3.5in Deskstar E7K1000 disk drive line today, which provides low-duty cycle operations for multidrive server and storage systems, RAID arrays and video surveillance devices. Available in July, the high-end disk drive is priced from $280 (£140) at capacities ranging from 500GB to 1TB.

The Deskstar E7K1000 includes an enhanced rotational vibrational sensor to protect against vibration disruptions from other drives and offers 32MB of cache, Hitachi said.

Both new drive families include a SATA 3Gbit/s interface and support hot-swap capability, staggered drive spin-up functionality to ease power usage and Native Command Queuing, said Sweezey.