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Toshiba ups hard disk access speed

Toshiba has boosted the rotational speed of its latest high-capacity hard disk drive (HDD) to 5,400 revolutions per minute, promising faster access to data for end users.

The company unveiled its first 60Gbyte, 2.5-inch HDD in April with a rotational speed of 4,200 rpm. The new product, the MK6022GAX, improves on that model by increasing the rotation speed, which means data is transferred faster and average random access times are reduced.

The drive's faster throughput rate is supported by an increased buffer memory of 16Mbytes, offering better performance for high-end notebook and desktop PCs. The company plans mass production of the product in September this year.

The Tokyo company also increased the areal density of the drive to 49.8Gbits per square inch (bpsi), up from 48.8Gbpsi. This means 49.8Gbits of data can be stored on one square inch of magnetic recording space. This translates into 30Gbytes of capacity per 2.5-inch platter, so a 60Gbyte HDD can be manufactured using two platters.

Fujitsu, another leading HDD vendor, last week unveiled a 60Gbyte HDD that it claimed has the highest areal density, at 53.2Gbpsi. Such a density also allows 30Gbytes of data to be stored on a platter; however, its disk rotation speed remains at 4,200 rpm.

IBM's Travelstar 60GH rotates at 5,400 rpm, but with an areal density of 28Gbpsi takes four 2.5-inch platters to make a 60Gbyte drive, according to information on the company's Web site.

Toshiba's new MK6022GAX has an average data transfer rate of 100Mbytes per second using the Ultra DMA (Direct Memory Access) Standard, and an average seek time of 12 milliseconds. It measures 69.85 millimetres by 100 millimetres by 9.5 millimetres and weighs 101 grams.

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