Samsung working on ultra mini hard drive

A tiny drive could store 4Gb of data more cheaply than flash memory, but flash is starting to encroach on the territory
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Samsung is developing a tiny hard drive that will have a disk that measures 0.85 in.

Toshiba and GS Magicstor already have announced efforts to build drives of that size, which likely will be candidates to handle storage duties in cell phones with advanced media functions.

The cell phone market is seen as a potential new arena for hard drives. But it’s not clear that 0.85 in. drives will be competitive against flash memory, a rival storage technology that is based on semiconductors.

Dave Reinsel, analyst with research firm IDC, said cell phones of the future that store music and multimedia data are likely to require 4Gb of capacity, an amount that can be squeezed into a 0.85 in. drive.

A tiny drive could store 4Gb of data more cheaply than flash memory, he said, but flash is starting to encroach on the territory.

Most PC drives are now 3.5 in. Apple’s iPod uses a 1.8 in. drive from Toshiba. Its iPod Mini employs a 1 in. drive from Hitachi Global Storage Technologies.

The company does not know when a final product might be available.

For more information, visit www.samsung.com.

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