Toshiba SDD Announces 80GB HDD for Automotive Applications

Toshiba Storage Device Division (SDD), the industry pioneer in small form factor hard disk drives (HDDs), expanded its automotive-grade HDD line to include a single-platter 80GB offering, which provides a significant capacity increase to enable the next generation of advanced navigation, in-car entertainment and vehicle connectivity solutions.

In addition to higher capacity, Toshiba also has improved the new automotive HDD family’s altitude specifications to further ruggedize its lineup to meet the operating extremes of the road environment. With the altitude specification now at 5,500 meters, Toshiba’s new sixth-generation automotive-grade HDD series includes both an 80GB model (MK8050GAC) and an improved 40GB model (MK4050GAC) featuring these new specifications.

In addition to the new HDD family introduction, Toshiba has passed the industry-leading milestone of more than seven million automotive-grade HDDs shipped into OEM and aftermarket solutions, since the company introduced the industry’s first automotive-grade HDD in 2001. Toshiba’s experience in working with the automotive industry to develop road-ready storage solutions spans more than 10 years, and the company commands an 85 percent market share in the automotive-class HDD segment, according to Techno Systems Research (TSR) Co., Ltd.(1)

“Car navigation systems built around fast, high-capacity HDDs are getting more popular in the Japanese and European markets, a trend that is soon expected to come to North America, the world’s largest automotive market,” said Toshio Magome, senior director, Techno Systems Research Co., Ltd. “Toshiba entered the market in 2001 and soon established leadership by drawing on advanced HDD technologies cultivated over the years. We can expect to see more innovation in navigation systems and new drives developed by Toshiba to play an important role in technology advances.”

New opportunities are emerging globally for HDDs in cars as China begins to rapidly deploy navigation solutions, and the United States and European markets gain momentum in integrating high-end infotainment solutions to add differentiation to top-of-the-line models. Japan continues its global leadership in digital integration with navigation, DVR and other entertainment options.

The standardization of in-dash LCD screens has created a platform for car manufacturers to deliver more digital options in the car, such as driver assistance readouts, digital music library management and enhanced navigation with expanded point-of-interest and real-time traffic updates. In addition, rear-seat entertainment supporting video content and gaming options represents a growing trend, as car manufacturers and aftermarket suppliers work to extend the digital world into the car and create differentiation with consumers.

“To deliver these kinds of digital experiences and accommodate all of the digital formats consumers want to bring on the road, automobile manufacturers and aftermarket suppliers must rely on the performance and design flexibility provided by high-capacity HDD storage,” said Scott Wright, product marketing manager at Toshiba SDD. “Toshiba automotive-grade HDDs have proven their road-worthiness in actual in-car applications for more than six years, providing the unique features required for this challenging operating environment. We have been a trusted partner of the auto industry for more than 10 years, with numerous design-ins of sophisticated media centers and navigation solutions, working closely with head unit and electronics design engineers to build flexible, reliable storage solutions for in-car applications.”

In addition to defining the standard for automotive-grade storage systems, Toshiba automotive HDDs also are finding their way into other ruggedized applications, such as surveillance systems, remote computing platforms, equipment control applications and other industrial computing devices. With their enhanced environmental specifications and robust shock and vibration resistance, automotive-grade HDDs fit a wide variety of applications that demand high capacity and high performance in environmental ranges beyond the capabilities of a standard notebook- or CE-grade mobile HDD.

Samples of Toshiba’s new automotive-grade HDDs are now available to automotive OEMs and aftermarket suppliers.

About Toshiba Storage Device Division
Toshiba SDD, a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., leads the market in the development, design and manufacturing of small form factor 2.5-inch and 1.8-inch hard disk drives, as well as next-generation HD DVD storage products. Toshiba SDD markets high-quality peripherals to original equipment manufacturers, value-added resellers, value-added dealers, systems integrators, distributors and retailers in the United States. Inherent in the Toshiba storage family are the high-quality engineering and manufacturing capabilities that have established Toshiba products as worldwide leaders.

About Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (TAIS)
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., TAIS is comprised of four business units: Digital Products Division, Imaging Systems Division, Storage Device Division, and Telecommunication Systems Division. Together, these divisions provide mobile products and solutions, including industry-leading portable computers; projectors; imaging products for the security, medical and manufacturing markets; storage products for automotive, computer and consumer electronics applications; and telephony equipment and associated applications.

TAIS provides sales, marketing and services for its wide range of information products in the United States and Latin America. TAIS is an independent operating company owned by Toshiba America, Inc., a subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation, which is a global leader in high technology and integrated manufacturing of electrical and electronic components, products and systems, as well as major infrastructure systems. Toshiba has more than 191,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of over U.S. $60 billion (FY2006).

1. Data by TSR, dated October 30, 2007.