IBM's Microdrive, world's smallest drive, stores up to 340M of data

At a size of 1 inch square by 5 millimeters thick and a weight of 20 grams, IBM
Corp.’s minuscule Microdrive can store up to 340M of data.

The Microdrive conforms to the CompactFlash Type II standard and has a platter with a
read/write/seek head. Its form factor is the same as for solid-state flash memory cards
used in digital cameras, but the Microdrive has more than five times the capacity. It is
about one-third the size of a standard PC Card and, via an adapter, can operate in a PC
Card slot.

Spinning at 4,500 revolutions per minute, the world’s smallest drive is slightly
slower than most desktop hard drives. It should make its way into digital cameras and
handheld computers this year.

Other divisions of IBM as well as Hewlett-Packard Co., Hitachi America Ltd. of
Brisbane, Calif., and Minolta Corp. of Ramsey, N.J., are considering the Microdrive as an
alternative to solid-state flash memory cards.

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