Quantum first to announce Ultra160/m drives
With the announcement last month of its Atlas 10K and IV disk drives, Quantum became the first drive manufacturer to preview products that support the new Ultra160/m specification. Quantum expects to ship volume units of Atlas IV in the first quarter of 1999; full-scale production of 10K models is slated for the second quarter. Both drives also support UltraSCSI and Ultra2 LVD SCSI, and a Fibre Channel option is planned for the 10K sometime next year.
Interfaces aside, in introducing the 10K, Quantum belatedly brings a 10,000rpm product to market, joining the ranks of IBM`s Ultrastar, Fujitsu`s Enterprise, Hitachi`s DK3EI (12,000rpm), and Seagate`s Cheetah. At 5ms, the drive`s average seek time is also one of the fastest in the industry, tying Hitachi`s 12,000rpm DK3E1.
For less demanding applications (e.g., print/email servers, engineering and graphics workstations, and web publishing), Atlas IV offers a 7,200rpm rotational speed, a 257Mbps internal data rate, and a 6.9ms average seek time. Both drives provide 36GB of native capacity in a half-height 3.5-inch form factor or 18GB in a 1-inch-high footprint. A 36GB Atlas 10K lists at $1,995; the IV at $1,495.
On a separate but related note, Quantum`s profits reportedly fell 83% last quater, owing in large part to declining PC costs and the ongoing Asian economic crisis. While Quantum`s hard-drive business continues to struggle, its DLTtape business grew by 14% to $292 million, representing a record 25% of the company`s total revenue.