Toshiba's new line of Blade X-gale solid state drives (SSD) measures only 2.2 mm thin and has storage capacities ranging from 64GB to 256GB.
Toshiba unveiled a new line of super-slim solid state drives
that it claims is the thinnest drive with the most storage capacity available,
on Nov. 8.
Designed specifically for devices in which space is a
premium, such as laptops, netbooks and tablet PCs, the Blade X-gale series are
available in three storage sizes, at 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB, said Toshiba. At
2.2 mm, the Blade X-gale drives are also the thinnest SSD drives currently
available in Toshiba's product portfolio, the company said.
"Delivering a product that enables superior user
experience in a smaller footprint is the ultimate goal," said Scott Nelson, vice president of the memory business unit
in Toshiba America Electronic Components.
Not only are mobile devices taking on more features,
including storing data, streaming video and playing music, they are also
getting smaller, thinner and lighter, according to Toshiba. The drives in the Blade X-gale series are
palm-sized, measuring a little less than one inch wide and 4 inches long. At 2.2 mm,
or less than 0.09 inches, the 64GB and 128GB drives are about as thick as an
engraving knife or lenses for polarized sunglasses.
Based on Toshiba technology that mounts two 128GB drives
back to back, the 256GB drives are slightly thicker, measuring less than 0.15
inches, or 3.7 mm, according to the electronics giant.
The super-slim 64GB and 128GB drives barely tip the scales
at 0.3 ounces, while the not-as-slim 256GB drive weigh in at a half-ounce,
The modules are 42 percent thinner than a typical mSATA SSD,
said Toshiba. Usually, hardware designers have to accommodate the drive's
physical size, regardless of whether they were hard disk drives or solid state
drives, when building devices, said Nelson. Toshiba offers both mSATA and Half-Slim SSD modules for its 64GB and
128GB modules, giving designers some flexibility in designing their hardware,
"It is really interesting to watch the march to
higher-density and lower-priced SSDs and the effect that is going to have on
the mobile space," said Al Hilwa, the program director of IDC's
Applications Development Software group.
Based on 3G bps SATA interface, the drives have a maximum
sequential read speed of 220MB per second and a maximum sequential write speed
of 180MB per second, said Toshiba.
Solid state drives offer superior speed, durability and
power efficiency over traditional hard drives, and mobile device manufacturers
are making the switch as demand surges for smart devices such as phones and
tablets. Solid state drives also tend to last longer and have fewer data-loss
Toshiba is not one of the three companies -- Seagate, Western
Digital and Hitachi -- that dominate the HDD industry. Even so, Toshiba touts
itself as the world's "most experienced" and "second largest" producer of
NAND-type Flash memory. The company said high-density NAND technology has the
capability to come up with even smaller form factors.
Toshiba said it will continue working on even smaller solid
state drives with higher storage capacities.