Toshiba has introduced (PDF) a new 2.5-inch hard disk drive with a 200 GB capacity.

The drive will change the way notebooks are designed. “This is a significant breakthrough for the hard-drive industry because the longitudinal recording technology has been extended as far as possible,” said John Rydning, research manager at IDC. “It sets the stage for further data capacity increases in 2.5-inch products.”

The drive uses a relatively new technology, called perpendicular recording, that stands bits of data on the end of a disk rather than on the flat surface of the media, as with traditional recording technologies.

Perpendicular recording provides up to a five-fold increase in storage capacity over earlier magnetic-recording techniques.

By allowing more data bits to pass under the drive head in the same amount of time, the new technology also increases data throughput without having to increase the disk’s rotation speed. This performance boost comes without increases in power consumption or heat generation.

The new MK2035GSS drives boast a Serial ATA II interface and are based on the company’s Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) technology: aimed at laptops and other portable devices, the new drives bring desktop-like storage capacities to new platforms

“As a leading partner for mobile PC manufacturers, we’ve listened to our customers’ needs for high-capacity storage in a small form factor to enable the advanced multimedia applications and enriched usage experience that consumers are demanding today,” said Scott Maccabe, vice president and general manager, Toshiba SDD. “Our technology innovation in PMR has laid the foundation for delivering the industry’s highest capacity and areal density in the standard mobile drive form factor. It’s a win-win combination for mobile PC manufacturers who want to differentiate their offerings with features that attract high-end consumers.”

The drives store data on two platters, and sport a 12 ms average seek time, a 4,200 rpm rotational speed, an 8 MB buffer, at Mean Time to Failure of 300,000 hours, and a weight of just 98 grams (3.46 ounces). Toshiba expects to begin mass production on the 200 GB models in August 2006; expect them to start showing up in laptops and other portable devices 60 to 90 days later.



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