Toshiba spins HDD platters faster

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

Toshiba unveiled its first 60G-byte, 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 a 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 16M bytes, offering better performance for high-end notebook and desktop PCs, Toshiba said in a statement. The company plans mass production of the product in September this year.

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

Fujitsu Ltd., another leading HDD vendor, last week unveiled a 60G-byte HDD that it claimed has the highest areal density, at 53.2G bpsi. Such a density also allows 30G bytes of data to be stored on a platter; however, its disk rotation speed remains at 4,200 rpm. IBM Corp.'s Travelstar 60GH rotates at 5,400 rpm, but with an areal density of 28G bpsi takes four 2.5-inch platters to make a 60G-byte drive, according to information on the company's Web site.

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

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