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IBM makes 512MB and 1GB MicroDrive official

By dpreview staff on Jun 21, 2000 at 04:00 GMT

Just two hours after publishing the "sneak preview" news story below, IBM have release an official announcement of their 1 GB MicroDrive. Full release and specifications inside. "Packing one gigabyte (GB) of data storage capacity on to a disk the size of an American quarter, IBM's newest Microdrive can hold up to 1,000 high-resolution photographs, a thousand 200-page novels or nearly 18 hours of high-quality digital audio music."

IBM Microdrive Specifications

Interface CF+ (ATA and PCMCIA compatible)
Case type Compact Flash Type II / PCMCIA (with adapter)
Capacity 340MB / 512MB / 1GB
Model names DSCM-10340, DCSM-10512, DCSM-11000
Areal density 15.2 Gbits/sq. inch
Recording density 435 KBPI
Track density 35,000 TPI
Data buffer 128 KB
Rotational Speed 3600 RPM
Latency (average) 8.33 ms
Media transfer rate 38.8 to 59.9 Mbit/s
Sustained data rate Min 2.6 MB/s, Max 4.2 MB/s
Seek (read) Avg: 12 ms, Track-to-Track: 2 ms, Full track: 20 ms
Load/unload reliability 300,000 load/unload cycles
Error rate (non recover) <1 per 10 E 13 bits transferred
Power req. (3.3V) Write: 250mA, Standby: 20mA
Power req. (5.0V) Write: 260mA, Standby: 20mA
Power req. (3.3V) Write: 250mA, Standby: 20mA
Operating environment 0 - 55oC (40 - 131oF), 8 - 90% humidity
Non-operational environment -40 - 65oC (-40 - 149oF), 5 - 95% humidity
Shock (half sine wave) Operating: 175 G, Non-operational: 1500 G
Dimensions 42.8 x 36.4 x 5 mm (1.69 x 1.43 x 0.2")
Weight 15 g (0.53 oz)
Pricing 512MB - $399, 1GB - $499
Availability September

Official Press Release:

IBM Triples Capacity of World's Smallest Hard Disk Drive

1-Gigabyte IBM Microdrive Opens New Levels of Functionality For Next-Generation Pervasive Computing Devices

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 20, 2000--IBM is tripling the capacity -- but not the size -- of the world's smallest hard disk drive, paving the way for a new generation of "go-anywhere" pervasive-computing devices and applications.

Packing one gigabyte (GB) of data storage capacity on to a disk the size of an American quarter, IBM's newest Microdrive can hold up to 1,000 high-resolution photographs, a thousand 200-page novels or nearly 18 hours of high-quality digital audio music.

The 1 GB Microdrive brings affordable high-capacity, high-performance data storage to a wide variety of handheld electronic products -- including digital cameras, handheld PCs, personal digital assistants (PDAs), portable Internet music players and video cameras. It can also serve as a data-exchange accessory to notebook computers, desktop computers and printers. Future applications may include wearable computers, electronic books, global positioning system (GPS) receivers, smart phones and electronic wallets.

"Using the new Microdrive, a company's entire multimedia product catalog -- as well as a suite of powerful e-business applications -- can be carried around in a shirt pocket," said Michael Kuptz, director, IBM Microdrive Products. "Such vast capacity in such a compact size will dramatically change the way information technology and consumer electronics devices are designed and used, helping accelerate the worldwide adoption of pervasive computing."

Underscoring the dramatic pace of development in the storage industry, IBM introduced the world's first gigabyte-capacity disk drive, the 3380, in 1980. It was the size of a refrigerator, weighed 550 pounds (about 250 kg) and cost $40,000. The Microdrive announced today is smaller than a matchbook, weighs less than an ounce and will be available for less than $500.

Limited quantities of the 1 GB Microdrive will begin shipping in July to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and distributors. Retail shipment is scheduled for September. Customers that have designed or plan to design devices compatible with the new Microdrive include Acer, Casio Computer Co., Ltd., the IBM Personal Systems Group, Eastman Kodak Company, Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., Hewlett-Packard, i2Go, Minolta Co., Ltd., Nikon Corporation, Psion, RICOH Co., Ltd., and Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.

What customers are saying:

"IBM is delivering just what the industry needs -- high capacity, high performance, compact storage at an affordable price," said James H. Brennan, Vice President, Marketing, Digital Imaging Division of Fujifilm. The company plans to distribute its new professional digital cameras with the IBM Microdrive.

"The IBM Microdrive delivers on an extremely important trend in personal computing -- what we call `e-lifestyle coordination,' the ability to easily transport data across computers in home and office environments," says Brian Dalgetty, director of marketing, desktop computing, IBM Personal Systems Group. "We're using the Microdrive in some exciting ways in our new NetVista desktops and ThinkPad notebooks, and this new capacity will simplify computing even further for our customers."

Proven technology, industry, standard format:

  • Use high-performance, time-proven hard-disk-drive technology to store information.
  • Have a much lower cost-per-megabyte and hold more content than alternate small-format storage technologies.
  • Fit into the industry-standard CF+ Type II slot that has become popular in many handheld devices. They can also be paired with a PC Card (PCMCIA) adapter for use with notebook computers, or with a variety of USB readers that can plug into most desktop PCs.
  • Provide affordable retail pricing -- Prices to be offered to consumers who purchase from IBM's Shop IBM Website by this Fall: 512 MB Microdrive ($399) and 1GB Microdrive ($499).

Technical advances over the first-generation Microdrive:

  • Sustained data rate is improved, so the drive draws less power from the host device, thus extending battery life.
  • Improved non-operating shock rating by 50 percent (from 1,000 G to 1,500 G). This is a measure of how rugged the drive is when turned off or not in use.
IBM

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