The race for higher capacity solid state drives is heating up as Toshiba announced it will start selling a 512GB NAND-based model by mid 2009. The 2.5-inch notebook drive is based on Toshiba’s 43nm multi-level cell NAND flash technology and uses a 3Gbps SATA-II connection, offering maximum write speeds of up to 200MBps and read speeds of up to 240MBps. It’s worth noting that this is marginally faster than the read speeds offered by Samsung on its 256GB SSD, although both drives share the same sequential write speed.

In addition to the half terabyte model, Toshiba will also be offering similar drives with 256GB, 128GB and 64GB capacities, in both 2.5-inch and 1.8-inch form factors. The drives will be showcased at CES and should go into mass production in the April to June time frame. No cost details have been given, but expect the new drives to command premium prices when they start arriving as options in new notebooks next year.