Toshiba was founded in 1938 as Tokyo Shibaura Electric K.K. through the merger of Shibaura Seisaku-sho and Tokyo Denki. The company name was officially changed to Toshiba Corporation in 1978. Today, Toshiba is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

Drives Made In The Land Of The Rising Sun – Toshiba


Toshiba has been providing storage solutions worldwide since 1967. In 1969 they delivered their first 14″ hard disk drive. When it comes to the technology applied in Toshiba hard disk drives comes from their own Research and Development. In 1980 they established the industry leadership with the world’s first 10.5-inch hard disk drive. During the 80s they continued to make smaller form factor drives but keeping the capacity to no less than 48 MB.

In early 90s they shipped the first drive using a glass as base material on a their single-platter HDD. This was the first 40MB 2.5-inch hard disk drive. In the era of merger and acquisition like it was the case with Seagate and Western Digital, Toshiba kept their business out of this. It is fairly unknown that Toshiba was the pioneer of small form factor for hard disk drives.
In 1998 Toshiba was the first manufacturer to transition to the GMR across its product line and the next year they broke the 20 gigabits per square inch areal density barrier.

Since their first delivering of 2.5-inch hard disk drive in mid 80s, Toshiba helped to ignite the start of the digital music revolution with the first high-capacity, high-volume 1.8-inch disk drives (in 2000).
In next year they started utilizing environmentally sound printed circuit board assemblies (PCBA) in all new HDD products and by 2005 they were the first to commercialize PMR, achieving 133 gigabits per square inch on 1.8-inch hard disk drive. By the time they acquired Fujitsu’s hard disk drive business, Toshiba shipped their 100 millionth drive, this was back in 2005.

For decades Toshiba’s hard disk drives were the top models when it comes for mobile applications. Their mobile hard disk drives are optimized for shock resistance and lower power needs, which helps customers to create products with increased reliability and usability. Over the years Toshiba has partnered with the automotive industry to perfect their auto-grade hard disk drive technology. Since introducing the industry’s first automotive-grade HDD in 2001, Toshiba has shipped more than 10 million automotive-grade hard disk drives.

Almost three years ago, Toshiba acquired from WD (HGST) manufacturing and related intellectual property for 3.5-inch hard disk drives, used in desktop computers and consumer applications, and near-line hard disk drives for server applications. Western Digital and Toshiba entered into a deal in which Toshiba took over HGST’s 3.5-inch disk manufacturing equipment and intellectual property and Western Digital acquired Toshiba’s 2.5-inch hard-drive facility in Thailand.

Today, Toshiba desktop hard disk drive series provides up to 3 TB capacity and features an innovative technology to deliver a greater level of power efficiency and quiet operation for energy-conscious, environmentally-friendly computers and their users.

In the next and final article about the consolidation of hard disk drive makers we will look into the future of hard disk drive technology.

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