Seagate, Fujitsu, Hitachi All Unveil Encrypted Mobile Drives

hard drive encryption

Seagate Technology, Fujitsu Computer Products of America and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies this week all unveiled plans to ship mobile PC hard drives with native encryption.

Seagate led the charge on Monday with the unveiling of new 500-GB and 320-GB mobile PC hard drives with built-in encryption. Those drives, which Dell said it would use in upcoming mobile PCs, also include software from McAfee for the enterprise-wide management of laptops with Seagate security.

The new Momentus-branded drives from Seagate are available in 5,400-rpm and 7,200-rpm versions. The company said the 320-GB models of the 5,400-rpm and 7,200-rpm Momentus encrypted hard drives are already shipping, while the 500-GB versions are expected to ship early next year.

Fujitsu this week unveiled a new line of 2.5-inch mobile hard drives that come in both an encrypted and a non-encrypted version.

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The 5,400-rpm SATA drives are available in 250-GB, 320-GB, 400-GB, and 500-GB models, all of which are expected to ship in the next few weeks, said Don Jeanette, senior manager of product marketing for the company.

Jeanette was not able to estimate the price difference between the encrypted and non-encrypted versions of the drives. However, he said, both versions have the same read/write speeds and overall performance, as the encryption technology is based in the drives' hardware.

The new Fujitsu drives are also the company's first to be produced completely free of the chemical halogen as a way of helping protect the environment, Jeanette said. They also help cut power use with a read/write power consumption of 1.4 watts.

Hitachi GST this week unveiled its new Travelstar 5K500.B mobile hard drives that, like those from Fujitsu, include both encryption and environmentally friendly features.

The Travelstar 5K500.B is a 5,400-rpm SATA mobile drive with capacities ranging up to 500 GB.

It includes hardware-based data encryption that meets the forthcoming Storage Security specification of the Trusted Computing Group, Hitachi GST said. The data, as well as the encryption key, is encrypted on the drive, and deleting the key renders the data unreadable, the company said.

Hitachi GST's new drives have a halogen-free design and feature a read/write power specification of 1.4 watts.

The company also unveiled the E5K500.B, an enhanced-availability version of the drives for use in such devices as blade servers and video surveillance that require 24x7 operation.

The 5K500.B drives are expected to ship next month, while the E5K500.B drives are expected to ship by the end of the first quarter of 2009, Hitachi GST said.