The last post on this loader was in 2011.
Is there any update?
Yes. The situation has indeed changed since then, thanks to DevilsClaw's investigations into one of these Panasonic chipset drives. It should be possible now to create a raw firmware dump for drives based on a Panasonic chipset by using DevilsClaw's Renesas Flasher and running it with this special command line:
flasher -d <drive id> -l firmware.bin 1 80000000 00200000
where <drive id> should be replaced by your actual Drive ID number.
That raw firmware cannot be flashed back in its raw form - it needs to be manually processed first to make it flashable, but at least it is possible to create a firmware dump now which is still a major step forward in itself ...
Does anyone know if there has been any firmware released?
Unfortunately there are still no firmware releases available for this drive. Generating a raw dump seems to be the only way to obtain a copy of this firmware...