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Technology

 April 12, 2000
New IBM Notebook Hard Drives Break Capacity, Speed And Density Records

 IBM today announced the world's most versatile, highest capacity notebook computer hard disk drives - the first with built-in features designed to deliver smoother, more lifelike video images.

The Travelstar 32GH, designed for premium notebook computers, holds five times as much data as the average notebook hard drive. The 32-gigabyte (GB) drive holds up to eight DVD movies, 32,000 high-resolution digital photographs, 49 music CDs or the text equivalent of a 5,344-foot (approx. 1,629 metres) stack of documents.(1)

"Today's mobile computer users don't simply want the convenience of portability, they want a PC with desktop capabilities, able to store and process massive multimedia files," said Bill Healy, vice president, IBM Storage Technology Division, IBM Corp. "Travelstar drives allow notebook users to carry unprecedented amounts of information, from business data to digital photographs, music and full-motion video."

These are the first notebook hard drives designed with specialized audio-visual capabilities. Most hard drives have a standard feature called "error correction" that regulates the transfer of text-based files. However, error correction can interfere with video downloading. IBM researchers have found a way to partially disengage this feature during the transfer of video files, providing a much smoother, more lifelike image.

The Travelstar 32GH is also the world's fastest mobile hard drive. At 5,400 rotations per minute (rpm) it spins 1,200 rpms faster then the average notebook drive. This higher rotational speed significantly boosts performance.

Capacity and performance are not the only records IBM shattered today.

IBM's new 20-GB Travelstar 20GN for ultra-portables sets a new record of 17.1 billion bits per square inch, the highest areal density of any hard disk drive. Greater areal density means more information can he stored in less disk space, making the drive more cost-effective to manufacture. The industry's previous areal density record was set by an IBM product introduced just last month.

IBM today also introduced a 30-GB drive for mainstream notebook users. Travelstar 30GT holds the text equivalent of a 5,010-foot (approx. 1,527 metres) stack of documents and boasts a record-setting areal density of 17.1 billion bits.

The 20GN and 30GT drives are scheduled to ship in volume in May to Compaq Computer Corporation, Dell Computer Corporation, Gateway, and the IBM Personal Systems Group. The 32GH will ship in limited quantities in June and in volume in August.

Each of these new Travelstar drives incorporates glass disk platters, load/unload technology, giant magnetoresistive (GMR) recording heads, and Enhanced Adaptive Battery Life Extender 3.0. These features improve capacity, reliability and extend a notebook computer's battery life. They also support Drive Fitness Test, a diagnostic tool that works when the operating system is down.