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Toshiba Corp. is reported to have said that it would accelerate introduction of 4GB hard disk drives in 0.85” form-factor aimed at portable consumer electronics, such as MP3 players, PDAs or mobile phones.

Earlier it was expected that mass production of 4GB HDDs in 0.85” form-factor will only start this Summer. According to PC Watch web-site, the HDDs will be produced at Toshiba’s foundry near Tokyo, Japan. The company aims to make 2 -3 thousand of 0.85” HDDs monthly and gradually increase the output level towards 20 – 30 thousands per month.

The HDD measures 32mm x 24mm x 5mm and weighs only around 10 grams, which makes the product the world’s smallest HDD.

Marker research firm Gartner predicts that by 2008, at least 8% of mobile phones could contain a hard drive. Recently Gartner said that 1” hard drive shipments exceeded 8 million units in 2004, up from only 903 000 units in 2003. The compound annual growth rate for 1” hard drives should exceed 85% through 2008, the research firm believes.

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