Solid-state memory-based systems like the one we saw in the 2010 Hyundai Sonata may be the future of in-car navigation and infotainment technology, but there's still a lot of life left in the trusty spinning platter hard-disk drive. To this point, Toshiba has just announced a new 200GB hard drive for automotive uses.
Storage geeks and techies will no doubt be interested in the high-density, single-platter design and the rugged, automotive-grade construction that can withstand operating temperatures of -30 to 85 degrees C (-22 to 185 degrees F) and delivers high levels of operating shock resistance and enhanced vibration resistance. The drives are also pretty quick and pretty quiet with a fast seek time of 12 milliseconds and a "silent seek" operation mode of 23dB.
What's important to the rest of us is that the new 4,200rpm SATA MK2060GSC is the highest-capacity automotive-grade HDD available and should give OEMs even more space for infotainment data. This could mean more-detailed map and POI data for navigation, richer telematics data storage, and more space for locally stored, user imported audio and video. In addition to the 200GB MK2060GSC, Toshiba is also debuting a smaller 100GB MK1060GSC as part of this automotive-grade product series.
"The next generation of automobile infotainment, connectivity and location-awareness applications will require more innovation and undoubtedly higher storage capacity," said Scott Wright, product manager for Toshiba Storage Device Division. "Our commitment to sustain continued advancement in this product category continues to position Toshiba as the leader for storage components. We are ideally positioned to provide vehicle systems manufacturers with the high-quality, reliable storage technology they need to capitalize on an evolving market opportunity."
Toshiba's MK2060GSC and MK1060GSC series will be commercially available in the third quarter of 2010 for industrial distribution and OEMs, but with automotive tech production cycles, this means that the earliest we could see the larger hard drives in action is in 2012 model year vehicles or later.