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Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Toshiba Releases Self-encrypting Drives

Toshiba Storage Device Division (SDD) today announced a 7,200 RPM 2.5-inch (6.4cm) Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) that provides government-grade AES-256 hardware encryption incorporated in the disk drive's controller electronics.

The MKxx61GSYD is the newest addition to the Toshiba family of drives designed for commercial notebooks and security-sensitive applications, including shared desktop PCs. The drive's built-in hardware encryption offers benefits that go beyond software encryption.

Based on the Opal Security Subsystem Class (Opal SSC) specification from the Trusted Computing Group (TCG), the new Toshiba SED enables secure and quick deployment of encryption on notebook and desktop PCs to protect confidential information.

SEDs designed to the Opal SSC specification provide advanced access authentication and built-in hardware data encryption.

The MKxx61GSYD provides provides AES-256 encryption, built into the drive's electronics hardware. In addition, access to the Toshiba MKxx61GSYD SED can be securely administered or disabled remotely, using capabilities such as those enabled by Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT).

With SED storage, the initial encryption of OS files, applications, and user data is performed at full I/O speeds by the SED as the data are transferred to the disk media. With software encryption, loading of the OS, applications and user data must be completed prior to reading and encrypting the same data within the PC?s system memory and re-writing the encrypted data back to the drive. This "re-encryption cycle" often takes hours and may create a security gap during initial system deployment.

With SED drives, disk contents are encrypted as they are loaded, providing both a faster and more secure deployment process. These same advantages help to reduce IT support burdens when recovering or re-purposing a notebook or PC using SED storage.

The MKxx61GSYD is compatible with third party security management applications for notebook and other client PCs.

Software encryption uses CPU cycles and system memory capacity, reducing the performance of applications. The hardware encryption built-into the MKxx61GSYD allows full storage I/O speeds, ensuring that users will experience no reduction in application performance due to background encryption processes.

Toshiba is shipping samples of the MKxx61GSYD now. Volume production is scheduled for Q1 2011.

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