'Biggest ever' 1.8-in drive launched by Toshiba

The latest device out of Toshiba's labs is a 60GB hard drive that could be used to fit tens of thousands of songs onto a single portable digital music player

Toshiba claimed a breakthrough in hard drive technology on Wednesday with the launch of a 1.8-inch disk drive with a capacity of 60GB.

The company claims that the MK6006GAH drive is the biggest 1.8-inch drive ever. It consists of two 30GB platters, each with a capacity of 93.5 gigabits per square inch.

Toshiba has also launched a single-platter version, called the MK3006GAL. It is 5mm thick, while the 60GB version is 8mm thick.

According to Seiji Kawagoe of Toshiba's storage device division, these new hard drives also offer increased shock resistance and lowered power and noise consumption.

"The resulting drives are perfect for integration in audio applications, such as mobile audio players, and mini-notebook PCs," said Kawagoe.

The popularity of devices such as Apple's iPod means there is growing demand for high-capacity hard drives that are smaller than those used in desktop PCs and servers.

The 60GB MK6006GAH drive would be able to hold around 15,000 digital music files ripped at 128 bits per second , or 39,000 at 48 bits per second -- probably enough for even the most music-loving individual.

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