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Toshiba introduces industry's first 1.8-inch hard drives with LIF SATA connectors

Darren Murph
Don't ever knock Toshiba for not pumping up the little guy. Well, unless you're producing microSATA-based 1.8-inch HDDs. Tosh has just revealed its newest line of PMP-friendly hard drives, with the industry's first 1.8-inch units being issued with low-insertion force (LIF) SATA connectors. They're being designed for use in media players, tablets and most anything else that can fit within the palm of your ever-sweating hand, with 160GB, 200GB and 220GB models being available. We're told that they surpass 2.5-inch drives in terms of vibration robustness, low power consumption, and quiet operation, and the whole lot also includes a 16MB buffer and requires just 0.35-watts to operate at low power idle. The whole package measures just 5- x 54- x 71mm, and while pricing information isn't readily available, samples will be headed out to product manufacturers next month.

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Toshiba Expands 1.8" HDD Leadership with Smaller, Larger Capacity Drives

Tablets, Consumer Electronics Devices, External Drives Will All Benefit From LIF SATA Connectivity, Vibration Robustness, Up to 220GB Capacity in 5mmH Form Factor

IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Extending its innovation in the 1.8" hard disk drive (HDD) category, Toshiba Storage Device Division announces the industry's first 1.8" drives with low-insertion force (LIF) SATA (Serial ATA) connectors, enabling a 10% smaller footprint compared to standard 1.8" drives using microSATA connectors. Developed for use in multiple devices, including tablets, consumer electronics devices and external HDDs, the new MKxx39GSL series offers three models, at 160GB (MK1639GSL), 200GB (MK2039GSL) and 220GB (MK2239GSL) capacities. The MK2239GSL features the largest capacity 1.8" single-platter HDD (5mmH) available. The MK2239GSL, MK2039GSL, and the MK1639GSL are designed for the most demanding mobile computing applications, surpassing 2.5" HDDs in terms of vibration robustness, low power consumption, and quiet operation. Samples will be available for customer qualification in February.

"Regardless of the device, customers expect to be able to store and access their favorite content, applications, and key data wherever they are."

"These new drives build on Toshiba's history of innovation and leadership in the 1.8" drive segment," said Maciek Brzeski, vice president of mobile marketing at Toshiba Storage Device Division. "Designers of next-generation consumer electronics, tablets, and mobile devices need disk drives that will stand up to the demands of day-to-day usage in a world increasingly defined by mobility and connectivity to all forms of content. These newest members of our 1.8" family are designed to meet those demands."

The MKxx39GSL family is designed for applications requiring not only the smaller, lighter footprint of 1.8" drives, but also the highest possible storage capacities. Both feature a 16MB buffer for improved performance. The drives are capable of withstanding the demands of mobility usage, tolerating up to 1,500Gs of non-operational shock and 600Gs of operational shock, compared to 900G of non-operational shock and 400G of operational shock for the most robust 2.5-inch HDDs currently available. The drives are also exceptionally quiet, operating at 14dB at idle and 15dB at seek, and require only 0.35 Watts of power at low power idle, the smallest power consumption levels for any SATA drive. All of this performance is delivered in a form factor of just 48g/5x54x71mm.

Toshiba has pioneered the development and advancement of 1.8" drives, starting with the industry's first volume 1.8" drives in 2000. Industry analyst firm IDC reported that Toshiba shipped more than 92% of all 1.8" drives on a global basis in the third quarter of 2010.

"The proliferation of devices targeted at media-savvy and media-hungry consumers and businesses have been a major factor in the continued demand for higher-capacity mobile hard disk drives," said John Rydning, research director, IDC. "Regardless of the device, customers expect to be able to store and access their favorite content, applications, and key data wherever they are."

For more information on the Toshiba line of industry-leading enterprise-class small form factor SSDs and HDDs, visit