IBM Announces Record-breaking Notebook Hard Drives

First Storage Devices to Incorporate Drive Fitness Test Technology

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San Jose, Calif. - 22 Oct 1998: . . .IBM today announced the highest capacity notebook computer hard disk drive for premium notebook computers. It holds 14.1-gigabytes (GB) or about four times as much information as the average notebook hard drive contains today.

Travelstar 14GS does not weigh much more than a baseball yet it can hold all of the double-spaced typed text on a stack of paper 2,338 feet high. Placed end-to-end, these sheets of paper would stretch 1,218 miles, farther than the distance between New York City's Yankee Stadium and Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO.

It is one of a family of three record-breaking hard disk drives for mobile PCs introduced today by IBM.

"This drive is sure to be popular with the road warriors who depend on their notebook computers. These users can now take an enormous amount of information and capability with them on the road,'' said Bill Healy, general manager of IBM Mobile Storage Products.

The 17 mm-high drive is not much thicker than a cassette tape, yet it can hold more than 10,000 1-megabyte (MB) digital photographs, 140 CD-ROM programs of 100 MB each or several hours of MPEG-2 video.

Ultra-portable solution

IBM also announced today Travelstar 6GN, the world's highest capacity 9.5-mm hard drive for ultra-portable computers. The slim and lightweight 6.4 GB Travelstar 6GN sets a new world record in hard drive areal density. It holds the most bits (5.7 billion bits) per square inch of any hard drive.

With a higher areal density, a drive generally is more reliable and lower cost. IBM's microdrive, the world's smallest hard drive announced last month, held the previous world record at 5.1 billion bits per square inch.

Mainstream users

IBM is also offering a new 10 GB drive for the mainstream notebook PC. Travelstar 10GT is only 12.5-mm high yet it can hold the text of more than 9,000 200-page novels, or about the equivalent of the contents of a small bookstore. It is the highest capacity drive in this class and brings the advantages of high-capacity storage to the broadest range of notebook users.

All of these new Travelstar drives are the first in the world to incorporate IBM's new Drive Fitness Test (DFT) technology. DFT lets users easily and quickly test the health of their IBM hard drives.

Research shows that the majority of the time when hard drives are sent in for replacement because a problem is suspected, the drives are fine. DFT can reduce this unnecessary inconvenience of returning a healthy drive. It is stored in a "secret compartment'' on the drive, and can be invoked even if the PC's system software is not working properly.


These new drives will begin shipping in limited quantities to notebook manufacturers starting in early December. Compaq Computer Corporation [NYSE:CPQ - news], Gateway, IBM ThinkPad and others plan to integrate one or more of these new hard drives into future notebook computers.

"We can offer Gateway clients maximum computing capability with our state-of-the-art, leading-edge Solo notebook PCs and IBM's reliable and advanced hard drives,'' said Bob Burnett, vice president, Mobile Systems, Gateway.

About four out of 10 notebook computer hard drives shipping today are manufactured by IBM, according to market research firm, IDC. IBM is expanding its manufacturing facilities to help meet the strong demand for its notebook hard drives.

For more information about IBM's hard drives visit "'' or call 1-888-IBM-5214. IBM's newest hard drives will be demonstrated at Bally's Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nev., during Fall COMDEX, Nov. 16-20.

Specifications: Travelstar 14GS: 14.1 GB, 17mm thick, 5.0 billion bits per square inch areal density, 5 disk platters, 4900 RPM, 6.1 ms avg. latency, 400G/2ms non-operating shock, 125G/2ms operating shock, 12 ms avg. read seek time, 33.3 MB/sec interface data rate with Ultra DMA mode-2, 182 grams.

Travelstar 10GT: 10.0 GB and 8.1 GB, 12.5mm thick, 5.6 billion bits per square inch areal density, 3 disk platters, 4200 RPM, 7.1 ms avg. latency, 600G/2ms non-operating shock, 125G/2ms operating shock,12ms avg. seek time, 33.3 MB/sec interface data rate with Ultra DMA mode-2, 137 grams.

Travelstar 6GN: 6.4 GB, 4.8 GB and 3.2 GB, 9.5mm thick, 5.7 billion bits per square inch areal density, 2/2/1 disk platters, 4200 RPM, 7.1 ms avg. latency, 700G/1ms non-operating shock, 150G/2ms operating shock, 13ms avg. seek time, 33.3 MB/sec interface data rate with Ultra DMA mode-2, 99 grams.

All of IBM's new Travelstar hard drives feature giant magnetoresistive (GMR) heads, Load/ Unload technology and Enhanced Adaptive Battery Life Extender 3.0. These features help make the drives higher capacity, more reliable and extend the notebook computers' battery lives.

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Enhanced Adaptive Battery Life Extender, Travelstar and Drive Fitness Test are trademarks of IBM. IBM is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners

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