Toshiba has produced a new 100GB 1.8in hard drive - a 25 percent jump in the existing 80GB capacity.

The drive will mean still higher capacity music players and laptop computers will soon be on the way. The drives are about the same size as a PC Card and are commonly used in music players, like Apple's iPod, and compact laptop computers.

Toshiba plans to start mass producing the drives in January. It won't sell them direct to end-users however but to other companies for integration into their products.

Toshiba first developed a 1.8in drive in 2000. The device, which was at the time the highest capacity such drive available, could hold up to 2GB of data and cost around ¥80,000 (£350). Today the drives have not only risen in capacity but also fallen in price to the point where an Apple iPod, which includes an 80GB drive and color screen, costs £175.