Toshiba has unveiled a 2.5in hard drive with 100GByte capacity, 50GByte per platter.
Toshiba's MK1031GAS is built for "portable PCs". It has an ATA interface and spins at 4,200rpm. The areal density is 80Gbit/sq inch which, Toshiba claimed, is an industry-leading density figure. For comparison, Hitachi GST's Deskstar 7K400 (400GByte 3.5in PATA/SATA drive) has a 61.7Gbit/sq inch areal density.
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Toshiba said it can hold around 400 hours of MPeg-4 motion pictures of near-DVD quality. Nick Spittle, business development director for Toshiba Storage Device Division Europe, said, "We are looking to storage technologies to deliver the necessary capabilities to carry a wealth of information and entertainment on the move."
The target device sectors are multimedia personal devices such as DVD players and digital cameras/camcorders, in-car systems and the larger-format notebook computers using 2.5in drives.
Previous models in Toshiba's 2.5in drive range are used in Toshiba and Dell notebooks.
To cope with the increased areal density the read/write head uses a Femto slider, which is smaller and lighter and flies even closer to the disc surface than previous generation Pico sliders.
Other manufacturers are poised to follow suit as they gain the ability to match Toshiba's areal density levels.
Seagate Technology has its Savvio 2.5in drive with either 37GByte or 73GByte capacity and a 10,000rpm spin speed. Its UltraSCSI, fibre channel and SAS interfaces marks it out as an enterprise drive.
Seagate has forecasted a move from 3.5in enterprise drives to 2.5in to increase I/O density. A 1U server system with 2.5in drives can execute the workload of a 2U server system with 3.5in drives, even a 3U system.
Steve Pereira, managing director of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies in the UK, said, "The 2.5in form factor will come to high-end servers. It has power and performance density benefits." He envisaged the arrival of 2.5in 10,000rpm SATA drives.
Chris Mellor writes for Techworld.com