Toshiba boosts hard-disc density

Toshiba has unveiled a 2.5in drive that has the industry's highest capacity per platter, the company said.

Toshiba has unveiled a 2.5in drive that has the industry's highest capacity per platter, the company said.

The drive has two 2.5in diameter platters, each with a storage capacity of 30Gbytes of data, said the company.

Toshiba will start sample shipping the drive this week and plans to start mass production in late May.

Drives holding 60Gbytes of data are already available, but the greater storage density means that Toshiba can build drives with fewer platters, making them around 25% thinner and 50% lighter than existing units. Drives with similar physical characteristics are also available, although Toshiba's new drive beats their data storage capacity by 50%.

The 2.5in drives are commonly used for mobile devices such as notebook PCs, although companies have begun using them in other types of mobile devices, such as digital music players like Apple Computer's iPod, and consumer electronics products such as digital video recorders.

Protected by a plastic case, the removable hard disc drive will allow users to upgrade the disc easily and transfer digital images, audio and video between computer and consumer electronics platforms, instead of buying an upgraded hard disc drive every time a development is made in drive technology.

At research and development level, Toshiba has already demonstrated a prototype drive with a real density of 52G bpsi on a 2.5in drive, and hopes to achieve a real density of 100G bpsi before the end of 2003.

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