10 GB iPod Mini & 80 GB iPod?

According to MacWorld, Hitachi has announced at the CES show in Las Vegas they plan to at least double the current capacity of the 1" microdrive used in iPod minis within the year.

At present Hitachi's most capacious Microdrive can hold 4GB of data, but the new drives, due in the second half of this year, will be able to hold between 8GB and 10GB, said Bill Healy, senior vice president of product strategy and marketing at HGST.

In addition to offering more storage space, the drives will also occupy about 20 per cent less volume than current models, said Healy. One of the biggest space savings will come from replacing the Compact Flash interface with a ZIF (zero insertion force) connector of the type favoured by consumer electronics makers.

Hitachi will also employ similar space-saving techniques to its 1.8-inch drive family, said Healy.

New versions of 1.8-inch drives, also expected in the second half of this year, will feature ZIF connectors and weigh 49 grams. A drive with one platter will offer between 30GB and 40GB of capacity, and one with a double platter will have between 60GB and 80GB of capacity, said Healy. Additionally, the drives will offer better shock resistance.

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