Toshiba has announced a new and improved 40Gb and 80Gb version of its small hard drive found in the Apple iPod.

Toshiba claims the new drives are the world's first hard disk drives based on perpendicular recording, a technology that can boost data density on a single 1.8in hard-disk platter to 40GB.

The electronics giant has incorporated the technology into its latest MK4007GAL drive that packs 40GB into a drive 5mm thick.

The technique has also been used to create the 80GB MK8007GAH, which boasts the largest capacity yet achieved in the 1.8in form factor, according to Toshiba.

The announcement of the 80Gb model has caused a stir in the Apple Fraternity as the last announcement from Toshiba was a 60Gb unit and while Apple denied that it would use the drive, it eventually found its way into the iPod Photo.

It would follow therefore that the new drive from Toshiba would find itself into an Apple product at some point.

The larger drive however wouldn't benefit the iPod Photo as it's the software that restricts the amount of images the machine is capable of storing not the hard drive space.

Perhaps the drive will allow video playback to become a possibility. Something that Apple stringently denies wanting to venture into. Stay tuned.