The Storage Device Division of Toshiba Corp is claiming boasting rights for being the first HDD manufacturer to launch a product using perpendicular magnetic recording technology.
The 1.8-inch device, called the MK4007GAL, is designed for use mainly in consumer electronics devices, where it can offer 40GB of capacity on a single platter thanks to an area density of 206Mb per square millimeter. Toshiba itself is already shipping the drive in an MP3 player called the Gigabeat F41.
But the Tokyo-based electronics giant is not alone in developing perpendicular recording. Hitachi GTS, the result of another Japanese conglomerate’s acquisition of the HDD arm of IBM Corp, is promising a 2.5-inch drive with 160GB of capacity by the end of this year, again targeted at the CE market.
What these increases in storage capacity on small HDDs make possible is the entry of such devices into other types of device, including mobile phones, where the 0.75-inch and 1-inch format are already becoming competitors to solid-state Flash technology.