Less than a month after Fujitsu announced it would end production of read/write heads for hard drives, the company has sold off its HDD business to Toshiba. The two companies are aiming to have the transfer completed in the first quarter of 2009. Previously, Fujitsu was engaged in takeover talks with Western Digital, but the two couldn't agree on terms.
"Fujitsu will facilitate the transfer by bringing its HDD-related businesses and functions together in a new company," Fujitsu wrote in a press release. "Toshiba will acquire about an 80 percent stake in this company and make it a Toshiba Group subsidiary. In order to promote a smooth transfer, Fujitsu will continue to hold a stake of under 20 percent in the new company for a certain period of time, after which it will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba."
Toshiba, who is already a player in the 2.5-inch HDD market, looks to reinforce its position, while also moving in on the enterprise HDD market, an area Fujitsu has been very active. Toshiba is also looking at the solid-state drive (SSD) market, "fusing Toshiba's NAND flash memory technology with Fujitsu's enterprise HDD technology." Despite the heavy focus in the past several months, SSDs have been intentionally overlooked by Fujitsu, who has been turned off random write performance.
Toshiba said it will aim to raise its share in the overall HDD market to over 20 percent by 2015.
Toshiba, always one to bolster their numbers, has added the A10-S3511 and M10-S3411 notebooks to their Tecera line of laptops!
Both of these have a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600, 2GB DDR2 and a 160GB HDD under the hood. And, to help seal the deal they’ve included a built-in webcam, WiFi, Bluetooth, their own EasyGuard technology, a 3-hour battery, and they bring it to you all on Windows Vista Business with a possible downgrade to XP Professional.
The main differences are aesthetic, though the hard drives are different speeds. The A10 has a 15.4-inch WSXGA+ screen, Nvidia Quadro NVS and a 7200rpm drive and costs $1,249. The M10 has a slightly smaller 14.1-inch TFT LCD, integrated Intel GM45 graphics and a 5400rpm drive and costs only $1,100.
Many a hardware-encrypted disk has crossed the path of the consumer market lately, but they’ve universally been a questionable investment. All the encryption systems have been proprietary, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone that’s looking to store all their valuable data on a system that can’t be read in a few years down the line.
Thankfully, the Trusted Computing Group has just announced that (almost) every drive maker has agreed on 128-bit encryption for all SSDs and HDDs. The major vendors, such as Fujitsu, Hitachi, Seagate, Samsung, Toshiba, Western Digital, IBM, Wave Systems, LSI and Ulink Technology have all hopped on board.
With any luck we in the consumer market will be looking at simpler disk encryption sometime very soon.
Toshiba sees a future in which Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) power technology steps into the limelight to prevent scenarios in which "a busy business person making a presentation to clients" runs out of battery power, or "a woman talking on her mobile phone while walking around town" being forced to cut her conversation short (see these and other scenarios laid out in humorous fashion here). With DMFC technology, these and other devices can be quickly recharged without having to swap out the batteries or cut off power.
More than just a concept technology, Toshiba was touting a new DMFC internet viewer device at CES. Using a dual-methanol power source, Toshiba says its internet viewer can run for about a week of normal usage before having to replace the methanol. The wireless prototype was shown running Windows, but no information was given on what hardware it was using.
Intrigued? Get the full scoop, as Toshiba sees it, on DFMC technology here.
Toshiba has expanded its Qosmio and Satellite laptop families. Up first is the new Qosmio X305-Q725 that has been designed keeping the gamer in mind. The notebook has a 17-inch display and derives all its muscle from an Intel Core 2 Quad processor and its NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GTX GPU. As for storage, it has a 64GB SSD. The design is unpalatable and nearly every sensible man can be expected to bristle at its very sight. The ugly Qosmio can be yours for $2,699.99 only.
Toshiba has also unveiled a 15-inch budget notebook under its Satellite sub-brand with a price tag of $549. The Satellite L305-S5921 is a no-frills notebook with a T3400 Pentium processor, 2GB of DDR2 SDRAM, a 160GB HDD and 128MB of Intel integrated graphics.
The Satellite E105-S1402 is the third notebook to have been launched. It has a 14-inch display, an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor, 320GB HDD, 4GB memory and 320GB HDD. It is available now for 1,199.
Lastly, Toshiba has also rolled out customized color lids for many of its Protégé family of notebooks.
Most of the talk surrounding solid state storage tends to revolve around the performance numbers, or lack thereof. Sluggish write speeds have hampered the hype on all but a select few models, and while more attention is being paid to the performance numbers, speed isn't the only thing increasing; SSDs are getting bigger.
Toshiba said it will have on display a 512GB solid state drive next month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), with shipments expected in the second quarter of 2009. At 512GB, Toshiba's SSD would rival mobile hard disk drives and qualify as one of the largest capacity SSDs for use in notebooks.
Alongside the 2.5-inch 512GB SSD, Toshiba also plans to release 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB models in both 1.8 an 2.5.-inch drive enclosures or as SSD flash modules. The new drives will be part of Toshiba's upcoming lineup of "fast read/write SSDs" built on a 43nm manufacturing process using multi-level cell (MLC) technology.
"The solid state drive market is evolving rapidly, with higher performance drives to meet market requirements, and differentiated product families targeted for appropriate applications,” said Mr. Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Vice President of Toshiba Corporation's Semiconductor Company. "This new 43nm SSD family balances value/performance characteristics for its targeted consumer applications, through use of MLC NAND and an advanced controller architecture."
Performance for the new drives look promising, with rated read and write speeds up to 250MB/s and 200MB/s respectively.
It looks like Toshiba has been keeping the Japanese gamer market satisfied lately, with a very beefy line of Qosmio laptops that boast some pretty impressive stats.
The Qosmio line has been pretty successful, releasing some 20 notebooks over in the land of the rising sun. Their most recent additions include the Qosmio FX (15.4-inch screen) and GX (18.4-inch screen). Both feature a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo P8600, an Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT, 4GB of RAM and a 320GB HDD.
Their even beefier SpursEngine G50 will feature the same specs of the FX and GX, but with the addition of a SpursEngine graphics system, a second 250GB HDD, a digital TV Tuner, four USB ports, a eSATA socket, 1.3-mexapixel camera, a fingerprint sensor and a dual-layer DVD burner.
The pricing has been listed between $2,327 and $3,767, and they should be available before the end of the year.
The mobile gaming sector continues to play leapfrog as each manufacturer attempts to jump to the head of the pack. Gateway wowed us with its surprisingly affordable P-7811FX crammed full of high end parts, and more recently, Alienware's new M17 gave users a double-dose of performance with dual-3870 videocards and up to 1TB of storage space in a RAID configuration. Now it's Toshiba's turn to tantalize would-be notebook buyers, and it looks to do that by introducing the world's first laptops with THREE Nvidia GPUs packed inside.
To clarify, Toshiba isn't planning a line of tri-SLI enabled laptops, and instead will take advantage of Nvidia's Hybrid SLI technology. The Qosmio X305-Q708 and X305-Q706 will be the first two units outfitted with three GPUs, which will consist of a GeForce 9400M and two 9800M GTS GPUs. When not fragging foes, gamers can switch to the 9400M GPU while the other two GPUs power down, resulting in a quieter notebook with presumably longer battery life.
For $4,200, the X305-Q708 also brings an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9300 CPU to the table along with a 17" 1680x1050 display, 4GB of RAM, 320GB SATA drive, a second 128GB SSD, DVD burner, a 1.3MP webcam with face recognition, HDMI and DisplayPort connections, and Harmon Kardon speakers. At less than half the price ($2,000), the X305-706 drops down to an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 CPU and drops the SSD drive.
The X305-Q708 and X305-Q706 are available now from ToshibaDirect.
Toshiba's TLP-X200U might not have the same novelty appeal as Mio's Knight Rider GPS giving out personalized driving directions in the voice of William Daniels (KITT), but it does qualify as the world's first talking projector. The mobile projector's being billed as "ideal for non-technical people," a claim the device seeks to with voice-guided operating instructions and spoken system alerts.
Closed-captioning also comes as part of the package, as does both wireless and wired networking. Other pertinent specs include a native resolution of 1024x768 (XGA), 4:3 aspect ratio, 600:1 contrast ratio, 3000 ANSI lumens, and HDMI support. Toshiba claims a lamp life of up 2000 hours, or up to 3000 hours in Eco mode.
The 4.4-pound projector is available now with an MSRP set at $1,740.
Toshiba this week announced what it claims is the "industry's largest density SLC NAND chip at 16Gb." The claim comes from the company's new lineup of 43nm Single-Level Cell (SLC) NAND flash memory products available in densities ranging from 512Mbits on up to 64Gbits.
"The new ranges includes three products, 16Gb, 32Gb, and 64Gb, which integrate monolithic 16Gb chips, the highest density SLC NAND chips available," Toshiba said in a press release.
Up until this point, Toshiba's production of SLC chips has been confined to 56nm and 70nm process technologies. Taking the density down to 43nm, Toshiba is touting both the read and write performance of the new parts, as well as the reliability in terms of write and erase cycles.
Devices using the new chips, including mobile phones, office automation equipment, and servers will start showing up in the market in 2009.