Cornice has produced its smallest-ever hard drives. The fourth generation drives will be available in 8GB and 10GB models and are 40 percent smaller than Cornice's current 4GB drive.

Company co-founder Kevin Magenis launched the new drives: "When we started almost 20 months ago designing the drive we asked ourselves what are the most important attributes for a next generation product. Thinness was very popular, as was the X-Y size (the drive's length and width), so we shrunk it down."

The drive measures 30mm by 40mm by 3.5mm.

Cornice is targeting the mobile phone market, which it anticipates will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 325 percent between 2004 and 2009. It expects about 72 million mobiles with embedded drives will be shipped in 2009 out of a global total of around one billion handsets.

If that happens the mobile phone market will dwarf the personal storage and portable audio player markets, which Cornice expects will stand at 10 million and 43 million shipments respectively in 2009.

Cornice has already seen its hard-disk drives embedded in a Samsung phone. There are a half-dozen phones based on the new drive that will be in volume production in the first quarter or the second quarter, claimed Magenis.