Big hard drive is small

Toshiba Corporation has developed two new 1.8 inch hard drives – the 60GByte MK6006GA and the 30GByte MK3006GAL.

Both the 1.8-inch drives sport a high areal density of 93.5Gbits of data per square inch. This has allowed the company to pack 30GB of data onto a single 1.8-inch platter, an increase of 50% over current models, and to deliver drives that are ideally suited for integration into mobile audio players and mobile notebook PCs.

The key to the development of the high-density, small form factor devices was the replacement of the company’s traditional Pico Sliders, that are attached to the drive’s heads to maintain the appropriate distance from the disk during read and write operations, with Femto Sliders that are 35% smaller and much lighter. Advances were also achieved in the thin-film technology for both the head and the platter.

The new drives offer shock resistance of 500G, the result of use of the smaller, lighter Femto Sliders in combination with a lighter head-suspension and head arm. Vibration resistance is also double that of Toshiba’s current models, thanks to employment of feed-forward control in head positioning. In addition, the adoption of a fluid dynamic bearing (FDB) motor gives a shock resistance as high as 1,500G when the drive is not operating.

Power consumption of the MK6006GAH and MK3006GAL are approximately 20% lower on average than the company’s current drive due to application of pulse width modulation (PWM) techniques to control disk rotation speed.

Mass production of the new drives will start in the third quarter of the company’s 2004 fiscal year.

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