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Toshiba unveils 80GB 'iPod drive'

Clever 'perpendicular recording system' boosts storage capacity

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Toshiba today paved the way for 80GB iPods when it said it will ship an 80GB 1.8in hard drive in Q3 2005 - a year after it introduced the 60GB version that can currently to be found inside the iPod Photo. Toshiba 80GB 1.8in HDD

The Japanese manufacturer didn't mention any customers by name of course, but having supplied Apple with micro hard drives to date, it seems likely the relationship will continue with the new, higher capacity.

The 80GB HDD - model number MK8007GAH - comes in a 7.9 x 5.4 x 0.8cm casing. Toshiba will ship a 40GB version - model number MK4007GAL - that's just 0.5cm thick in the second quarter. It's lighter, too: 51g to the 80GB HDD's 62g. Toshiba's current 40GB and 60GB (model numbers MK4004GAH and MK6006GAH, respectively) 1.8in HDDs are 0.8cm thick, so the new drive should make for thinner mid-range iPods.

Both drives spin at 4200rpm, offer an average seek time of 15ms and operate across an Ultra DMA 100 interface. They can take 500G operating shock and 1500G non-operating shock.

Toshiba claimed the drives mark the first ever use of a perpendicular recording system in which the tiny magnetic domains used to store each bit of information are aligned at right-angles to the plane of the disk, not parallel to it, as is traditionally the case with HDD platters. The upshot, said Toshiba, is a far greater data density - 206Mb per square millimetre - than anyone has been able to achieve so far in a drive of this class. ®

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