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Wednesday, June 16, 1999 Published at 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK


Sci/Tech

Small disks aim big

The microdrive holds 340 Mb of data

A hard disk drive not much bigger than a postage stamp and a mini-removable disk are competing as new storage solutions for mobile professionals.

IBM's new product is a tiny hard disk with a capacity of 340 MB.


[ image: IBM's new drive weighs just 17 grams]
IBM's new drive weighs just 17 grams
It is just 2.5 centimetres in size, weighs less than an AA battery and can hold over 200 times more data than a floppy disk.

IBM claims that compared with similarly-sized, solid-state memory cards based on flash memory semiconductor technology, the Microdrive costs less and holds five times more.

Clik! A snap for digital cameras

Clik! has been launched by Iomega and is a small disk which fits inside a special PC Card drive. It holds 40Mb of data.

The disks will cost about £8 each and the drive they go into, developed jointly with Citizen Watch Company, about £180.


[ image: The Clik! disk is 5 cm square]
The Clik! disk is 5 cm square
Iomega sees the disks as priced cheaply enough for companies and individuals to give them away with their multimedia material and presentations on them.

Notebook PC users backing up their data may also prefer the tiny drives to Iomega's larger Zip drive, which usually connects externally to a parallel port.

A mobile version of the Clik! drive can be used with digital cameras and handheld PCs.

High capacity storage


[ image: More storage for palmtops]
More storage for palmtops
IBM says Microdrive will also be used in handheld digital devices, including portable PCs, digital cameras, GPS navigation systems and cellular phones.

"We are seeing tremendous market interest for the high-capacity and low-cost-per-megabyte Microdrive. It fills a gap that is not being addressed by any other technology right now," said Bill Healy, general manager of IBM Mobile Storage Products.

IBM's new drive is due out this summer.



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