Hitachi Global Storage Technologies announced the industry’s first hard drive with storage capacity of 1 Terabyte (TB).

At the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, the storage manufacturer unveiled its Deskstar 7K1000 computer hard drive, capable of storing 1000 gigabytes - more than 12 times more storage than the largest available iPod. Consumers will be able to more store video, photos, music and other digital data than previously possible.

Consumers who increasingly rely on hard disk drives to store their digital memories are seeking higher capacity and more reliable HDDs, said John Rydning, research manager for hard disk drives at IDC.

The new feat pushes the half-century old technology to new heights, keeping the hard disk drive prominent in the face of flash memory and other new storage technologies.

The industry’s first one-terabyte hard drive represents a milestone that is 50 years in the making, and it reasserts the hard drive’s leadership as the highest-capacity, lowest-cost storage technology, said Shinjiro Iwata, chief marketing officer at Hitachi.

The Deskstar 7K1000 SATA version will be available in the first quarter of 2007 for $399.