Toshiba has announced a hard drive holding 40GB in the format of a credit card and 8mm thick. It's positioned as a storage device for digital video recorders and car jukeboxes. Iomega has its coming RDD technology devices announced recently. Both Toshiba and Iomega say that HDD technology offers more space for less cost than flash memory.

Toshiba's entered the 1.8-inch HDD market in 2000, when it started mass production of a PC-Card-type removable 1.8-inch HDD with a 2GB capacity. "Toshiba is ... the only 1.8-inch supplier shipping in volume today," said Hiroyuki Sato, senior manager of storage device division, HDD sales and marketing department of Toshiba's Digital Media Network Company.

Its estimates show the market for 1.8-inch HDD rising to 25 million units in 2006. The company is doubling production of its 1.8 inch hard drives to 600,000 units a month by March 2004.

Toshiba says products based on 1.8 inch technology include mobile entertainment devices, MP3 players, handheld computers, ultraportable notebooks, portable handheld GPS units, automotive jukebox systems and other specialised digital devices. The MK4004GAH drive is available now and weighs 62gm. It is ruggedised and offers a 200G operating shock resistance.

Seagate has announced plans to manufacture notebook drives. Expect notebook drive capacity to increase strongly in the next few years.