Toshiba unveils higher capacity 1.8-inch hard drives

Toshiba's new 1.8-inch hard drives for personal music players can store as much data as hard drives on some low-end PCs, the company announced Wednesday.

The 1.8-inch drives now come in 20G-byte and 40G-byte varieties, Toshiba said in a statement. The company's hard drives are used in ultraportable notebook PCs and automotive applications, a Toshiba spokeswoman said in a statement.

They can also be found inside Apple Computer's iPod music player, according to industry sources. The computer maker launched in September new versions of the iPod featuring the Toshiba drives.

Hitachi also manufactures a line of 1.8-inch hard drive, two of which are used in Dell's new Digital Jukebox musical player. The company announced a 40G-byte 1.8-inch drive in January that has been shipping since April, a Hitachi spokesman said.

The new Toshiba drives rotate at 4,200 revolutions per minute, and transfer data at a rate of 100M bytes per second. They consume 1.4 watts of power, and use the ATA-5 (Advanced Technology Attachment version 5) interface.

Toshiba now sells 1.8-inch hard drives in a variety of capacities from 5G bytes to 40G bytes, the company said.

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