IBM Announces the World's Fastest Hard Drive Shipping for Video Streaming

First IBM server drive with GMR heads also launched from the leader in GMR technology

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San Jose, Calif. - 27 Oct 1998: . . . IBM today announced several new hard drives including the world's fastest* hard drive shipping for video streaming applications. The power and capabilities of the 10,020 RPM, 9.1-gigabyte (GB) Ultrastar 9LZX make it ideal for use by video producers and movie editors.

This is a thinner (low profile) version of the 9.1 GB model IBM introduced about a year ago and it operates at much lower temperatures. In fact, IBM's 9LZX is the coolest IBM 10,020 RPM drive available. The cooler the drive, the less chance there is of the drive or server overheating. Also, a cooler drive uses less power.

IBM is also introducing an 18.2 GB, 10,020 RPM drive called Ultrastar 18ZX. Eighteen gigabytes is about the equivalent of the double-spaced text on a 3,006 foot stack of paper. Both of IBM's new 10,020 RPM drives are designed for use in NT and UNIX workstations and servers.

Monster Capacity

IBM is also introducing a new 36.4 GB, 7,200 RPM drive which holds eight times as much as the average server hard drive. Ultrastar 36XP is designed for UNIX and RAID servers and storage subsystems.

Although it's only about the weight of an apple pie, the 36XP holds the double-spaced typed text on a stack of paper more than a mile high. Ultrastar 36XP can hold a whopping 17 hours of MPEG-2 video, or the equivalent of five Super Bowl games.

The most GMR head integration experience

IBM's new 18.2 GB, high-value 7,200 RPM Ultrastar 18ES is IBM's first server drive with giant magnetoresistive (GMR) head technology. It has a high areal density, holding more than three billion bits per square inch on its hard disk platter. With a higher areal density, a drive generally is more reliable and less costly. The GMR technology contributes to this high density. IBM has the most GMR head integration and manufacturing experience of any hard drive company. About a year ago, IBM was the first company to introduce a hard drive with GMR heads.

Ultrastar 18ES is designed for performance PC, workstation, and server users.

"These drives are extremely reliable, lightning fast, and hold a lot of information and video," said M.S. Bhat, business line manager, IBM Server Hard Drives. They are ideal for the most demanding, mission-critical applications for large corporate intranets and the Internet, servers supporting on-line banking and credit card transaction processing, as well as video and data mining. "Anyone involved in electronic business would benefit from these drives," added Bhat.

IBM's latest server hard drives, including the new ones announced today, are the only storage devices to feature Drive Temperature Indicator Processor or Drive-TIP. This allows users to monitor the temperature of the drive so it can be adjusted if the system environment gets too hot.

With this Ultrastar product family introduction, IBM has improved the acoustics on its newest 10,020 RPM server drives making them the quietest IBM server drives yet. Also, these new offerings have large buffers of up to 4 MB, contributing to their high performance.


IBM's new Ultrastar drives are shipping in limited quantities to customers worldwide now.

Avid Technology, Inc., The CLARiiON Advanced Storage Division of Data General Corporation, Euphonix, Eurologic, IBM Personal Systems Group, and several others plan to offer one or more of these new drives in their servers and data storage solutions.

"Overall, the testing of Ultrastar 9LZX demonstrated strong performance -- nothing less than what we have come to expect from Ultrastar drives," said Frank Washburn, senior storage engineer at Avid, a provider of digital audio and video tools for information and entertainment applications.

For more information about IBM hard drives, visit or call 1-888-IBM-5214. All of IBM's newest hard drives will be featured at Bally's Hotel and Casino, during the Fall COMDEX trade show in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 16-20.


Ultrastar 18ES
7,200 RPM speed, 18.2 GB/9.1 GB, 3.5-inch, 4.17 ms average latency, 2.0 MB buffer size, 7.0 ms average seek time, 159 to 244 Mbits/sec media transfer rate, 3.03 billion bits per square inch areal density, 10/5 GMR heads, 5/3 disk platters, 5 to 55 degrees C operating and -40 to 65 degrees C non-operating temperature, interfaces: Ultra SCSI, Fast and Fast/Wide, Ultra2 SCSI Fast/Wide, SCA-2, FCAL.

Ultrastar 36XP
7,200 RPM speed, 36.4 GB, 3.5-inch, 4.17 ms average latency, 4.0 MB buffer size, 7.5 ms average read seek time, 143.2 to 231.2 Mbits/sec media data rate (banded), 2.76 billion bits per square inch areal density, 20 MRX heads, 10 disk platters, 5 to 50 degrees C operating and -40 to 65 degrees C non-operating temperature, interfaces: Ultra2 SCSI Fast/Wide, SCA-2, SSA, and FCAL.

Ultrastar 18ZX/9LZX
10,020 RPM speed, 18.2 GB/9.1 GB, 3.5-inch, 2.99 ms average latency, 4.0 MB buffer size, 6.5 ms/5.3 ms average read seek time, 187.2 to 243.7 Mbits/sec media transfer rate, 2.02 billion bits per square inch areal density, 10/5 disk platters, 20/10 MRX heads, 5 to 50 degrees C operating temperature, -40 to 65 degrees non-operating temperature, interfaces: Ultra2 SCSI Fast/Wide, SCA-2, SSA, and FCAL.

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* Rigorous testing shows it is the fastest drive shipping at sequential reads. This claim is based on publicly-announced shipping dates.

Drive-TIP and Ultrastar are trademarks and IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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