Not content with delivering plans for a 4TB hard drive, Hitachi's scientists have announced a hard drive that uses 40 per cent less power - the Deskstar P7K500.

Hitachi reckons the 250GB model uses 3.6 watts of power when idle, though this rises to 4.8 watts on hard disk drives (HDDs) with 320GB capacities or greater. This compares to 7 watts of idle power typically allocated for hard drives, according to the company.

Greener hard drives

This isn't the first time we've heard about drive manufacturers harping on about greener drives. Western Digital's Daniel Mauerhofer talked up the company's range of GreenPower drives when he visited Tech.co.uk last week.

Power is becoming more of a concern for drive manaufacturers as consumers and businesses look for more efficient systems.

"Energy expenses...are becoming a significant cost for organisations," says John Rydning, IDC's Research Manager for hard disks. "Component suppliers will need to do their part to help improve the overall power consumption of PCs, servers and storage systems, and Hitachi's next-generation HDDs with reduced power consumption is a step in the right direction."

The P7K500 uses Hitachi's perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) heads and disks resulting in the ability to squeeze 250GB onto a single platter. Some of the power savings have been made by cutting power to components when they are not needed.