Fujitsu Limited in mid-2009 unveiled plans to transfer its hard-drive business to Toshiba Corp., creating the world's largest manufacturer of mobile drives. The deal closed in October.
The new MBF family comes in 600-GB, 450-GB, and 300-GB capacities, with a 10,000-rpm speed and a 6-Gbps SAS interface, all in a 2.5-inch form factor, making it the highest-capacity enterprise-class small form factor drive, said Joel Hagberg, vice president of enterprise marketing for the Toshiba Storage Device Division.
The drives can also be ordered in self-encrypting models as a way to improve data security.
The new drives represent a new enterprise focus for Toshiba, which is best known for its 1.8-inch mobile hard drive business, as well as a change in the kind of drives enterprises are buying, Hagberg said.
"Seventy percent of the enterprise server space has moved to 2.5-inch hard drives already," he said. "The enterprise storage business has been waiting for 2.5-inch hard drives to match the capacity of 3.5-inch hard drives."
The 2.5-inch small form factor drives, which measure only 15mm in height, use one half the power and take up 70 percent less cubic volume of 3.5-inch drives, Hagberg said.
"They're great for 'green' computing, using half the power and offering all the capacity of the larger drives," he said.
Toshiba is not the only company to offer 600 GBs of capacity in a 2.5-inch hard drive. Seagate last week said it started shipping 2.5-inch hard drives with 450-GB and 600-GB capacity points and 2 million hours mean time between failure reliability.
The new MBF hard drive family is currently in OEM qualifications, and is expected to be available in April. They will be available through Bell Microproducts, Avnet, Ingram Micro, Tech Data, and Microland.
Hagberg said the new drives will initially be competitive price-wise with 3.5-inch hard drives. "But with one less platter, and two fewer heads, the price curve for these devices will be a little more aggressive in 2010 than existing hard drives," he said.