Hello, goodbye to Quantum 5.25" drives

Posted on October 01, 1998

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Hello, goodbye to Quantum 5.25" drives

Zachary Shess

Quantum recently announced its 5.25-inch Bigfoot TS disk drives and not so publicly acknowledged that the series will be its last in this form factor. Quantum officials estimate they will supply Bigfoot drives for about 18 months.

With capacities of 6.4GB, 8.4GB, 12.7GB, and 19.2GB, the Bigfoot TS series is designed for consumer and PC OEM markets, both of which are looking for low-cost, high-capacity drives. The 19.2GB version, for example, is priced at $399, or 2 cents per MB. Equipped with an Ultra ATA interface and 512MB buffer, Bigfoot drives include MR heads, PRML read channels, and 6.4GB per platter.

Bigfoot will be Quantum`s first 5.25-inch drive to use its recently introduced Shock Protection System (SPS). According to Sheila Tolle, director of product marketing for Quantum`s desktop division, SPS minimizes the number of defects caused from bumping the drives during shipping or installation.

"With SPS in our Fireball drive line since April, we`ve already seen a 50% to 70% reduction in the defects per million as a result of integration fallout," Tolle says. She adds that by having an entirely automated manufacturing partner (Matsushita-Kotobuki Electronics of Japan) coupled with SPS, it`s easier to decipher where defects occur.

Tolle attributes the eventual phasing out of 5.25-inch drives to PC OEM customers` hard-charging pursuit to sell not just $999 PCs, but eventually $799 PCs. OEMs want the performance and lower price points of 3.5-inch drives more than the larger capacities of the 5.25 form factor. "If you look at the areal density projection curves, 3.5-inch drive capacities are expected to reach 6.4GB by the fall of 1999," Tolle says.

Volume production on the Bigfoot line is currently under way. MSRP pricing starts at $169 for the 6.4GB drive, which includes a three-year replacement warranty.


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