As a rule it pays if the gubbins that goes into powering consumer technology gets smaller, leaving more space for big screens and thinner form factors; which is why Formay's announcement of its new disk-on-chip (DOC) solid state hard drive is good news.

The incredibly compact disk-on-chip (part of Formay's OC177 SSD family) is apparently smaller than a US quarter (so we're looking at around a 10p in the Queen's) measuring 22 x 22 x 1.8mm and holds capacities of up to 32GB or 64GB. It has a read/write speed up to 70/40MB per second.

This solid state drive (SSD) has the advantage over more conventional, hard disk drives (HDD) in that they don't contain any moving parts, making them quieter and more rugged.

"Foremay's DOC drive eliminates the need to have a "disk drive" attached to the computer motherboard," said Jack Winters, CTO of Foremay. "The DOC can be soldered directly onto the motherboard via its LGA or BGA pins, which also significantly enhances the anti-shock and anti-vibration performance from DOC equipped computers."

As well as the advantage of having such a chip disk in a gadget when dealing with shock, it also brings the potential for more flexibilty when designing a particular gadget.

A multitude of devices should benefit from the technology, such as mobile phones, laptops, satnavs and camcorders; basically anything that needs to be small and is liable to be dropped at some point.

The IDE/PATA DOC is now shipping in volumes with capacities up to 32GB. 64GB IDE DOC and SATA DOC are expected to be available in Q3 2011.