Toshiba announces 60GB, 1.8-inch hard-disk drive

Toshiba will begin mass-producing a 60G-byte, 1.8-inch hard-disk drive before the end of the year, it said Wednesday. Such drives are commonly used in digital music players and sub-notebook computers.

The new drive offers a 50-percent improvement in storage space over Toshiba's current highest capacity 1.8-inch hard-disk drive yet manages this without being physically larger. The major factor that contributed to this increase was an advancement made in a thin-film technology used for both the head and platter, said Midori Suzuki, a spokeswoman for Toshiba.

This enabled Toshiba to increase the density at which data can be stored on the disk's surface: the areal density of the new disks is 93.5G bits per square inch versus 61.2G bits per square inch on the current models, she said. This means each disk platter in the new drives can accommodate 30G bytes of data compared with 20G bytes in the current highest capacity drive.

As a result a two-platter drive can hold up to 60G bytes of data. The jump in density is also having a positive effect at the middle of Toshiba's 1.8-inch drive range. The company's current 30G byte model relies on two disk platters and so is 8 millimeters thick but this capacity can now be accomplished with a single platter, allowing the drive thickness to be reduced to 5 millimeters.

Toshiba has also reduced the size of the sliders that keep the drive's read/write head at the correct distance above the disk surface, Suzuki said. The new "femto" sliders are 35 percent smaller than current "pico" sliders and that means the head assembly can get closer to the outer edge of each platter and access more of the disk surface for data storage.

Another advantage of the new drive is lower power consumption. It has been cut by an average 20 percent over current drives because of an adaption in the way the disk spindle motor is controlled, Toshiba said.

Mass production is due to begin in the fourth quarter of the year. Toshiba declined to provide prices for the drives but said initially they will likely be sold at a premium in terms of price-per-bit over the current drives.

For companies like Toshiba that manufacture drives for consumer electronics products such advances in technology are one of the few ways they can answer customer demands for more storage space. Without them Toshiba would have been forced to add an extra disk platter to get to 60G bytes and that would have made the drive thicker. In turn, this would have made any products based on the drive bulkier and that's going against the trend amongst music player and computer makers for smaller and lighter products.

Last month, for example, Apple Computer announced the fourth generation version of its iPod music player that is 1 millimeter thinner than its previous models. Apple uses the Toshiba drives in its iPods.

Wednesday's official announcement of the new drive is no surprise. Not only are hard-disk drive makers constantly pushing technology to increase the storage capacity but a Toshiba representative at the Computex trade show in Taipei, Taiwan, in June said the company was planning such a drive. At the time Cindy Lee, deputy manager of Toshiba Digital Media Network Taiwan's hard disk drive division technical department, said Apple had already placed an order for the drives. Apple declined to confirm that it had placed such an order.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?