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Manufacturers Team For New Removable Versatile Disk Drive

Fifty companies working under the name iVDR Hard Disk Drive Consortium have been quietly developing a standard for a removable hard disk drive that would allow content to be easily and securely shifted among home and mobile CE and IT products.

The iVDR (Information Versatile Disk for Removable usage) CEATEC booth held a variety of products from Sharp, Sanyo and Hitachi that utilize the standard. It allows for the creation of removable hard disks of 3.5 inches, 2.5 inches and 1.8 inches with capacities ranging up to 160GB.

According to Kenji Taima, a member of the consortium and international business development manager for Sanyo, the first consumer products utilizing iDVR technology could be out by 2007, although this date was not confirmed by any of the participating companies in the booth at CEATEC.

Products on display, each containing a hard drive slot and connected via a SATA interface, were a Sharp desktop computer, Hitachi and Sanyo flat-panel televisions and removable hard drives from Maxell. A car head unit was also on display.

Also shown was a combination Blu-ray recorder with an iVDR slot. Taima said content from the drive could be burned onto BD media, but at this time this cannot be done with pre-recorded movies.

The iVDR standard calls for using the SAFIA security standard. SAFIA was jointly developed by Sharp, Hitachi, Pioneer and Sanyo specifically for use with iVDR products.

The iVDR Consortium plans to have a booth at International CES in January, Taima said, but he did not know if and when products equipped with the technology would make it to the U.S. market.