Toshiba Storage Device Division (SDD) is announcing the shipment of the world's first HDD-based on perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR). The new 1.8-inch HDD, used primarily in consumer electronics (CE) devices, enables up to 10,000 songs or 25,000 photos on a single 40GB platter.
The MK4007GAL HDD 1.8-inch HDD packs 40GB on a single platter, making this the largest single-platter capacity yet achieved in the 1.8-inch form factor. The average seek time is 15msec (milli seconds), with suppor for Ultra DMA/100. The platter spins at 4,200 RPM. The whole HDD size is 54 x 78.5 x 5mm weighing only 51g.
According to the company, this technology sets new benchmarks for data density with the highest areal density currently on the market at 206 megabits per square millimeter (133 gigabits per square inch). The 1.8-inch PMR HDD is now shipping in Toshiba's new Gigabeat F41, enabling the MP3 player to store up to 10,000 songs.
The 1.8-inch HDD form factor has been a critical component for consumer electronics products from MP3 players to handheld GPS systems and ultra-portable PCs. To date, Toshiba has shipped more than 14 million 1.8-inch HDDs since its introduction in mid-2000.
Toshiba plans to introduce an 80GB 1.8-inch HDD with PMR later this year.
The PMR technology is based on a new magnetic disk structured to support perpendicular recording, a new high-performance perpendicular magnetic head, and disk and head integration technology that maximizes their combined performance.
Conventional longitudinal recording stores data on a magnetic disk as microscopic magnet bits aligned in plane. Although advances in magnetic coatings continue to improve data recording densities on HDD, when the densities become too extreme, the magnetic bits repulse each other due to in-plane alignment. Squeezing more bits on to a disk will eventually reach a point in which crowding degrades recorded bit quality. As such, HDD manufacturers face fast-approaching limits on storage capacities.
Toshiba is currently shipping the 40GB MK4007GAL to OEM and channel partners. The company plans to apply PMR technology to its 0.85-inch HDD in 2006, increasing capacity to 6GB-8GB per platter.