Consortium Readies Removable Hard-disk Drive Scheme

Just as flash cards are widely used to move data from one device to another, iVDR supporters aim to expand on the same scheme for much larger, gigabyte data such as high-definition video using a large capacity hard disk drive in a standardized card form.

Hard drives in PCMCIA card form are already available, and iVDR aims to prepare durable hard disk drive cards for consumer use. The consortium specified hard disk drives with high shock resistance so that a iVDR hard disk drive would not be damaged if it fell from a table to the floor. The iVDR connector has 26 pins and is required to withstand 10,000 removals and plug ins. USB connections are designed to last about 1,500 times.

The standardized platform consisting of hardware and software standards for both removable drives and host devices means gigabyte-sized data can be easily swapped. The iVDR Consortium will promote the platform for both digital consumer and PC applications.

The consortium said home server capacity can be easily expanded by adding drives into iVDR slots. For instance, video can be moved from a recorder to a car player using the iVDR drive. Users can also create their own PC environment on any PC by inserting an iVDR removable drive into a PC.

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The consortium specified 2.5- and 1.8-inch hard disk drives as iVDR 130 x 80 x 12.7 mm and iVDR Mini 67 x 80 x 10 mm in size respectively. It is now working on a 1-inch drive format as iVDR Micro (50 x 50 x 8 mm). The consortium has added security specifications based on public key infrastructure.

Formed in March 2002, the consortium has grown to 40 member companies. It advocates iVDR drive-based data exchange among consumer products. However, consumer electronics giants Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics have yet to back the scheme. Auto electronics companies have expressed interest for bringing HD content to cars.

The eight founding members are Canon Inc., Fujitsu Ltd., Hitachi, Ltd., Phoenix Technologies K.K. (Japan unit), Pioneer Corp., Sanyo Co. Ltd., Sharp Corp. and Victor Company of Japan, Ltd. (JVC). Other members include: electronics manufacturers Alps Electric Co., Ltd., Mitsumi Electric Co., Ltd., and Renesas Technology Corp.; hard disk drive companies such as Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, Seagate Technology and Maxtor. Auto electronics supporters include Toyota Motor Corp., Denso Corp., Alpine Electronics, Inc. and Clarion.

I-O Data Device, Inc., a member company, will launch the first removable hard disk drive compliant with the iVDR specifications. The first product will include a USB adaptor to connect to a PC.

This story courtesy of EETimes .