As storage technology moves inexorably toward solid state, Toshiba is determined to be on the forefront of the changeover. The Japanese tech giant has announced plans to expand their selection of 32nm Multi-Level-Cell (MLC) NAND SSD units. The new lineup will include a “Half-Slim” 128GB SSD suitable for use in netbooks. The drives will be capable of 180MB per second read and 70MB per second write speeds.
Lest you assume that Toshiba has forgotten the performance space, there will also be new high performance SSDs. These standard 2.5-inch drives will be capable of 250MB per second read and 180MB per second write speeds. They will be available in sizes ranging from 64GB all the way up to 512GB.
If you’re weary of SSD reliability, fear not. These drives will support the new TRIM commands implemented in Windows 7. The first production samples should show up in Q1, with wide availability in Q2. No pricing information was available.
Another day, another Atom N450-based netbook launch. This one comes courtesy of Toshiba, who on Monday announced its version of a next-gen netbook, the mini NB305.
"Our first netbook in the U.S. market stood out from the competition because we fixed what was broken in the previous generation of netbooks," said Carl Pinto, vice president of product development, Toshiba, Digital Products Division. "As the category continues to evolve, we're pushing the envelope even further to deliver the next generation that again exceeds customer expectations with better performance, an even higher battery life rating, and smarter features that enhance the mobile computing experience."
In addition to cruising along with Intel's Atom N450 processor, Toshiba says the mini NB305 comes with a full-size keyboard and full-size touchpad. The 10.1-inch netbook also features 1GB of DDR2-800 memory (upgradeable to 2GB), up to a 250GB HDD along with Toshiba's Hard Drive Impact Sensor technology, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, three USB ports (one of them Sleep-and-Charge capable), a memory card reader, webcam, a 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Starter Edition.
The mini NB305 will go on sale on January 12 with prices ranging from $350 to $400.
The technology is built around a high speed camera, running at 154 frames per second, which captures finger position and movement in 3D, and translates it, using a “Lucas-Kanade Algorithm”, into actions. For example, rather than tapping a screen, a user could tap air to type or dial a phone number. And to scroll through a list of pictures or contact entries would require a similar swipe through the air--no touching the phone required.
Tim Hornyak, writing on the Crave Gadget Blog for Cnet, says this example of a “gestural interface” follows work by MIT (SixthSense), Toshiba, and Pioneer. Still, it raises the question: what’s the point? Touchscreens, while at times greasy, work well enough to get the job done. Like VHS beat out Beta, a more sophisticated interface technology won’t win out by virtue of its technical superiority--it has to fulfill a distinctly perceived purpose. Wagging your finger at your iPhone doesn’t seem to be a compelling enough reason.
Still, as we begin to place greater demands on mobile devices, it may be possible that the 2D world of the touchscreen will need replacement. In that case, a 3D option, such as this one, may well make an appearance in the marketplace.
The FTC was investigating the world’s four largest manufacturers of NAND flash memory: two in South Korea, one in Japan, and one in the United States. The four companies investigated are unnamed in the report, leaving us to wonder who they are. The report, however, does tell us the world’s four largest NAND flash memory manufacturers are Samsung and Hynix (in South Korea), Toshiba (in Japan), and SanDisk (in the United States). Perhaps it’s not such a mystery after all.
NAND flash memory, which is cheap to produce, is used in digital music players, digital campers, USB memory sticks, and the like. An over-production in the latter part of the decade lead to a downward spiral in prices, which some manufacturers are alleged to have perpetrated to gain market share. Manufacturers claim that pricing was more a factor of oversupply and technological advances, which the FTC seems to agree with, finding no evidence of price-fixing on the international level, and limited evidence of price-fixing on the domestic level.
Ho-hum, just some new Toshiba flash memory chips. Not so fast, though. The sheer existence of this chip could point to the impending production of a certain Apple product. This NAND memory module has a 64GB capacity consisting of sixteen 32Gb NAND chips. Toshiba is touting this as the world’s highest density NAND chip.
Back when the iPhone 3GS was torn apart (as is customary) we saw that is used single Toshiba NAND modules in either 16 or 32GB capacities. Could this be another hint that production is about to ramp up for a next generation Phone? It certainly would jive nicely with the rumors that Foxconn has already received orders for the new smartphone.
Toshiba expects to start mass producing the new chips in early 2010. That’s just in time to start stuffing them into new iPhones a few months later. The iPod Touch has always used a pair of NAND chips, so we may also see a 128GB iPod Touch.
Toshiba today reached another milestone by launching a 64GB embedded NAND flash memory module, which ranks as the highest capacity yet achieved in the industry.
The 64GB part serves as the flagship chip in a new line of six embedded NAND flash memory modules, including 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities. Each one offers full compliance with the latest e*MMC standard and are designed with a variety of consumer electronics in mind, such as digital video cameras, smartphones, mobile phones, and even netbooks.
On the technical side, the 64GB embedded devices combines sixteen 32Gb (gigabit) NAND chips fabricated with Tosbhia's 32nm manufacturing process. It also contains a dedicated controller
Toshiba waited a long time to enter the netbook market, but as the NB205 proves, taking some time to learn from your competitors can be a good thing. The NB205 offers everything we expect from a netbook, as well as some unexpected bonus features, and does so for less than $400. We liked the NB205 when we used it in our netbook upgrading feature (October); here we give it a full review.
The NB205 has a matte-silver plastic chassis and a textured matte lid, available in blue, pink, black, white, or brown. We appreciate that Toshiba has bucked the glossy fingerprint-magnet trend here. The netbook is solidly constructed, with a color-matched glossy bezel and hinge. The included six-cell battery protrudes about a half an inch beyond the back of the netbook, and is slightly wobbly to the touch, but given the 6:45 (hr:min) battery life, a little wobble doesn’t bother us.
The most capacious 1.8-inch hard drive on the planet now checks in at 320GB, says Toshiba, who just introduced a new line of tiny HDDs
Toshiba's targeting thin and light mobile PCs and portable external HDD contraptions with its new storage series, which also includes two other models sized at 160GB and 250GB. All three drives sport a perpendicular magnetic recording head, efficient power consumption, a high level of durability, and quiet seek operation, Toshiba says.
The new drives come equipped with a SATA interface and spin at 5400RPM. All three models also include a 16MB buffer. Combined with improvements to areal density, Toshiba claims you can expect data transfer rates to improve by 15 percent over previous drives.
Toshiba's tiny drives will start mass production in December. No word yet on price.
Sony isn't the only one in hot water with U.S. antitrust regulators. Both Toshiba and Hitachi have also fallen under the watchful eye of the U.S. Department of Justice and will have their optical device divisions investigated, The Inquirerreports.
Once again, not a whole lot of details are yet known, but just like with Sony, it's believed that the DoJ is sniffing out something afoul with each optical makers' Blu-ray line. More specifically, it's likely each company is being probed for potential price fixing allegations.
Before being knocked out of contention, HD-DVD players could be snagged for as low as $99, which coincided with a promotion to receive a small handful of free HD-DVD movies through the mail. For the most part, Blu-ray pricing has yet to come down to the same level. It should also be noted that Sony, Hitachi, and Toshiba account for about 60 percent of the optical drive market, according to some statistics.
The mobile phone market boasts worldwide sales growth of 29 percent year-over-year to reach 180 million units. Smartphones are expected to account for 37 percent of global handset sales by 2012 with forecasted revenue of $191 million by 2012. So, what does that have to do with PC’s?
Analysts think that PC makers want a piece of that huge growth action. The growth percentages mentioned above are already far above that of worldwide PC sales numbers and outside of Apple, few PC makers have been able to cash in. Although, “PC vendors will find it difficult to simply use existing supply chains and channels to expand their presence in the smart phone market,” according to Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner.
Despite the difficulties, it is inevitable that more PC manufacturers will dip their toes into the success of mobile markets even though it is a very different ocean. Acer, Asus and Toshiba have all announced smartphone launches and this trend is expected to continue.