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An earlier, ultra-miniature hard disk from Hitachi Global Systems. The Microdrive was introduced by IBM in 1998 and acquired by Hitachi in 2002. It contained a single disk platter the size of an American quarter, and starting out at 170MB of storage, it evolved to 8GB by 2006. Using one or two giant magnetoresistive (GMR) heads, the entire mechanism was built into a Type II CompactFlash card. See magnetoresistance and CompactFlash.

Size Matters
Because the tiny actuator had 50 times less inertia than one used in a regular disk drive, it could ramp up to full speed in half a second. As a result, the drive could stop spinning when data were not being accessed, conserving power in handheld devices. By the mid-2000s, CompactFlash flash memory cards began to exceed the Microdrive's capacity. See Kittyhawk and actuator.

The Microdrive
A marvel of electromechanical technology, the Microdrive platter stopped rotating to conserve power and ramped up to full speed in half a second.
References in periodicals archive ?
The new 4GB Hitachi Microdrive provides the capacity necessary to satisfy the skyrocketing need for affordable, high-capacity data storage in portable devices.
Synopsys' work to show interoperability between the Hitachi Microdrive 3K8 and Synopsys' CE-ATA host controller IP is another step toward developing a strong foundation to advance the CE-ATA standard.
The Hitachi Microdrive 3K6 is available at retails stores nationwide in the removable Compact Flash Type II form factor.
With high storage capacity in a small, affordable form factor, the Hitachi Microdrive led the penetration of one-inch hard drives in consumer electronic products, first in digital still and video cameras, MP3 players, personal media players and, now, mobile computing devices.
Consumers have long trusted their digital data to the Hitachi Microdrive.
In its fourth generation, the newest Hitachi Microdrive product combines a mature architecture and unmatched reliability with industry-leading storage capacity.
Nursery -- Apex E2GO series MP2000 portable media player, Dell DJ MP3 player, Gateway MP3 Photo Jukebox, Hitachi Microdrive Retail Kit, JVC Everio digital video camera, Shinco PMP-1700 portable movie player, Transcend PhotoBank and StoreJet external storage, Reigncom iRiver H10 1.
is the North American value-added distributor of Hitachi Microdrives and an Original Equipment Manufacturer partner of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies.

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