Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has announced what it proclaims as the world's largest capacity 3.5-inch, 7,200rpm ATA hard drive, its 400GB Deskstar 7K400.

The company says its new drive has been custom-built for audio-visual and other uses in which high-capacity drives are vital.

Hitachi's hard drive general manager Jose Antelo said: "Extremely-high-capacity disk drives are more essential now than ever with digital video recording coming into the mainstream. We are now in a position to extend our consumer electronics portfolio to include the high-end device segments, notably the market for high-capacity digital-video recorders (DVRs)."

The drive contains features purpose-built for the DVR market. One such feature – Streaming Command Set – is a new industry-standard technology for enhancing streaming functionality in digital-video applications. Inclusion of the feature "optimizes the drives for storing and retrieving digital video content on a DVR", the company says.

In a release, Hitachi quotes Yankee Group analysis which predicts that DVRs will be found in 24.7 million homes by 2007. This adoption is boosted by the appearance of High Definition TV (HDTV) in the US, which is driving data storage demand. (Each hour of HDTV content requires 8.7GB of storage).

Hitachi's new drives will ship with Parallel ATA and Serial ATA (SATA) interfaces. SATA orffers a maximum data transfer rate of up to 1.5GB/s. This interface technology is also hot-pluggable.

These drives carry an 8MB memory buffer and ship with a three-year warranty. The drives are currently only available in limited quantities.