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Technology Innovation For Eco-Friendly Hdds

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In today’s global business and trade environment, power and global warming are becoming greater concerns for the worldwide community. With the explosive growth of the Internet, digital computing and global IT infrastructures, the rise of large-scale data centers has led to an increasing awareness of their impact on power consumption. Correspondingly,

the millions of consumer electronics in use today,including PCs and laptops, only add to the drain on power infrastructures. As a result, what was once largely the domain of home appliances вЂ" developing energy-

efficient washers and dryers, heaters, and refrigerators вЂ" has now become a much larger concern for the IT industry.

In recent history, the United States’ power grid has been taxed by wide-scale power emergencies on the East Coast in 2003 and in California in the early 2000s. With concerns about decreasing oil reserves, energy price spikes and global warming, the IT industry has begun to place greater emphasis on reducing power consumption in data centers and in the hardware used by business customers. This is why Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) has introduced the Deskstarв„Ñž P7K500 desktop hard drive, which offers the industry’s lowest power consumption among hard drives in its class. The P7K500 improves its operational power consumption by 40 percent over the previous generation, positively impacting total PC system power requirements.

Power Efficiency Helps Manufacturers Deliver ENERGY STARÐ'® 4.0 Compliant Systems

To date, the primary focus in the IT industry has been on

power consumption within the data center. More companies are opting to locate data centers near sources of inexpensive

energy, such as hydroelectric power. In an August 2007 report to the U.S. Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended a series of efficiency opportunities

and policies that could drive a potential $4 billion savings in annual electricity costs related to data centers.1

Technology Innovation for Eco-Friendly HDDs

Dr. Jim Wong

Senior Product Strategist

In addition, PC power consumption is a significant expense for corporations and, in July 2007, the EPA released its ENERGY STAR 4.0 specification addressing this issue. The ENERGY STAR rating2 has been more closely associated

with major home appliances and heating and cooling systems. The previous ENERGY STAR 3.0 specification for PCs only addressed “sleep” power, not actual power during

use. Thus, nearly all PCs, including powerful gaming systems, could easily meet the requirements. This disparity

resulted in an inability to differentiate energy-efficient products from standard or even power-guzzling products.

The new ENERGY STAR 4.0 specification calls for an 80 percent minimum power-supply efficiency and sets maximum values for standby, sleep and idle power for desktop PCs that vary depending on the performance level of the system. Tier-1 specifications in effect in 2007 are designed so that approximately 25 percent of PCs will meet requirements. A Tier-2 specification, to be released on July 1, 2009, will set additional standards for PCs that don’t meet the strict Tier-1 requirements.

PCs that meet the new ENERGY STAR 4.0 requirements will become increasingly popular with corporations and government agencies. Corporations may choose to purchase ENERGY STAR PCs as part of their “green”

initiatives. The U.S. government signed an executive order on January 24, 2007, mandating that federal agencies must purchase PCs that meet ENERGY STAR 4.0 requirements.

Similarly, the European Parliament voted on July 10, 2007 to apply energy-efficiency criteria no less stringent than ENERGY STAR requirements for the purchase of all public sector office equipment, including PCs, within the European Union.

Hitachi GST Reduces Hard-Drive Power Consumption

Hitachi GST’s desktop hard disk drives (HDDs) have incorporated Advanced Power Management capabilities to reduce power consumption, beginning with the Deskstar 120GXP hard drive, which was six product generations ago. With the introduction of the Deskstar P7K500 drive, Hitachi GST has taken power efficiency one step further while maintaining 7200 RPM performance.


The Deskstar P7K500 hard drive provides customers with industry-leading power consumption вЂ" up to a 40-percent improvement over previous-generation products вЂ" by reducing power in both idle and active modes. This reduction was achieved by using the same system-on-chip (SOC) that is used in Hitachi’s Travelstarв„Ñž 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 (HiVERTв„Ñž) 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 вЂ" 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.3

• Low RPM idle вЂ" 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.3

Technology Innovation for Eco-Friendly HDDs

When Advanced Power Management is enabled, the hard drive can automatically enter the lower-power idle states, described above,



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