The Hard Drive Controller
The Toshiba MK1234GSX hard drive uses the Marvell 88i6166 hard drive controller. Unfortunately, we couldn't find out anything about this controller, because Marvell is very protective of its products. In fact, it appears we need to sign an NDA to obtain even details about this chip.
The hard drive controller
Its connection to the drive
But this hard drive controller should not differ much from others in its job of managing the transfer of data between the drive and the host. It's connected to the hard drive compartment via an 18-pin connector located at the lower left corner of the drive's underside.
The Cache Buffer
The 120GB MK1234GSX hard drive comes with 8MB of buffer memory, courtesy of a single 54-pin TSOP II SDRAM chip from Elpida.
The Elpida EDS6416GHTA-10-E is a 64Mbits SDRAM chip rated at 100ns. It has a maximum bandwidth of 100MB/s at the rated clock speed of 100MHz. But it's possible that Toshiba is clocking this memory chip at a much higher clock speed.
For those who are interested in the details, this SDRAM chip has four banks and supports a CAS latency of 2 or 3. It is also a low-power SDRAM chips, using a voltage of just 1.8V.
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