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The module was developed with the cooperation of several companies, including AT&T Microelectronics and the Citizen Watch Company of Japan. HP and AT&T engineers worked together to reduce the number of integrated chips used to control the Kittyhawk to just seven. (A typical 1.8" disk drive has 20 to 30 chips.) The reduced number of chips created a less expensive module that was lighter (1 oz or 28 grams) and used less power than conventional 2.5" and 1.8" drives.

Citizen Watch Company was chosen as a partner because of their experience in manufacturing disk drives and very small, high-quality watches. Citizen has the technology to drive screws you can't even see with the naked eye, and this miniaturization capability was needed with the Kittyhawk.

The HP Kittyhawk PSM is housed in a rugged package measuring 0.4 x 2 x 1.44 inches. It is less than one-half the size of 1.8" disk drive. The PSM's rugged design, modeled after the HP 95LX, can withstand an operating shock of 10 times that of the larger disk drives. HP developed a technology that acts much like an air-bag collision sensor on an automobile. It detects impending impact and causes the drive to revert instantly to a mode that protects against data loss. This technology increases the impact the HP Kittyhawk PSM can take while in operation.

The Kittyhawk PSM was designed to provide a minimum of 5 years of operation in the harshest climate. The storage device offers 21.4 MB of storage with an 18 millisecond average seek time and supports active, idle, standby, and sleep modes. HP believes that the technology developed for Kittyhawk will allow the HP Kittyhawk PSM to reach up to 200 MB of capacity by the middle of the decade.

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