Toshiba Corporation announced a new line-up of 1.8-inch hard disk drives adopting a serial ATA interface, including the first drive of this type with a capacity of 160 gigabytes. The new 160GB drive, MK1617GSG, and an 80GB drive, MK8017GSG, will enter mass production in August.
Toshiba's new 1.8-inch HDDs boost interface speed to 1.5Gbps and offer a rotation speed of 5,400 rpm, faster than the current generation of Toshiba 1.8-inch HDD (MK1214GAH, parallel ATA, 120GB).
Source: Toshiba Corporation
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Sony Corporation announced the development of a back-illuminated CMOS image sensor (pixel size: 1.75µm square pixels, five effective mega pixels, 60 frames/s) with significantly enhanced imaging characteristics, including nearly twofold sensitivity and low noise. This improved performance has been achieved by illuminating the backside of the silicon substrate, in contrast to conventional CMOS image sensors based on front-illumination technology.
The newly developed CMOS image sensor achieves a signal-to-noise ratio of +8dB (+6dB sensitivity, -2dB noise) in comparison to existing Sony CMOS image sensors of the same pixel size. Sony will apply this back-illuminated CMOS technology in consumer digital video camcorders and digital still cameras to deliver an even higher quality image experience.
With a conventional front-illumination structure, the metal wiring and transistors on the surface of the silicon substrate that form the sensor's light-sensitive area (photo-diode) impede photon gathering carried out by the on-chip lens, and this has also been an important issue in the miniaturization of pixels and widening optical angle response.
A back-illuminated structure minimizes the degradation of sensitivity to optical angle response, while also increasing the amount of light that enters each pixel due to the lack of obstacles such as metal wiring and transistors that have been moved to the reverse of the silicon substrate.
However, compared to conventional front-illuminated structures, back-illuminated structures commonly causes problems such as noise, dark current, defective pixels and color mixture that lead to image degradation and also cause a decrease in the signal-to-noise ratio.
To overcome this Sony has newly developed a unique photo-diode structure and on-chip lens optimized for back-illuminated structures, that achieves a higher sensitivity of +6dB and a lower random noise of -2dB without light by reducing noise, dark current and defect pixels compared to the conventional front-illuminated structure. Additionally, Sony's advanced technologies such as high-precision alignment have addressed any color mixture problems.
Furthermore, the back-illuminated structure also expands device potential in areas such as speed and dynamic range by enabling multiple metal wiring layers and greater flexibility in the transistor structure.
Source: Sony Corporation
OCZ Technology Group announced the latest addition to its lineup of performance flash drives with the Spyder, first debuted at Computex 2008.
The Spyder has a slide-top design, unlike flash drives with an easy-to-lose cap. Typical removable caps may get lost and leave the connector plug exposed to possible damage, but the Spyder design eliminates the possibility of losing the cap along with providing protection.
Like all OCZ flash drives, portability and size is a defining factor, allowing users to operate adjacent USB ports without needing to unplug other peripherals. The Spyder offers up to 8GB of storage and up to 35 MB/sec read speeds.
The Spyder will be initially available in 2GB (P/N: OCZUSBSPY2G), 4GB (P/N: OCZUSBSPY4G), and 8GB (P/N: OCZUSBSPY8G) capacities.
Source: OCZ Technology Group
EDIROL announced a new version of its UA-25 24bit/96kHz USB Audio Interface. The UA-25EX succeeds the EDIROL UA-25, and adds pro-grade microphone preamps, a newly developed analog compressor/limiter, and ground-lift functionality for studio and stage.
For the first time in an audio-interface product, the UA-25EX has ground-lift functionality - very useful for live and home recording. The UA-25EX is Mac/PC cross-platform compatible. It supports WDM, ASIO 2.0, and Mac OS X Core formats. Enjoy low-latency audio performance on both platforms.
The device is bundled with Cakewalk Production Plus Pack CD-ROM, including the popular SONAR LE recording/composing application.
Corsair announced today the new ultra-compact Flash Voyager Mini 4GB USB flash drive. The novelty is enclosed in all-rubber housing to protect data against severe temperature, moisture, or physical abuse. The Flash Voyager Mini is ultra-sleek, 1/3 the size of regular USB drives, with a weight of only 5.4 grams -- as light as a piece of gum.
To create the smallest drive possible, the Corsair Flash Voyager Mini utilizes a unique cap-less retractable connector plug, which opens with the flick of the thumb. Corsair achieved this ultra-compact design by using the latest Chip-on-Board (COB) technology, which allows the entire USB connector to be easily retracted into the drive.
The 4GB Corsair Flash Voyager Mini is available immediately priced at $29.99. Corsair products are backed by a 10-year Limited Warranty.
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