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Hitachi America announces next generation, 2.6 gigabyte magneto-optic drives; backward-compatible with all previous 5.25-inch multifunction products, new 4X technology drives conform to proposed ISO standard.

BRISBANE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 1, 1995--Hitachi America Ltd.'s computer division today announced its next generation, 5.25-inch magneto-optic drives.

The 172 Series optical drives support 4X storage data densities, using 2.6 gigabyte (GB) rewritable optical media, as defined in the proposed ISO standard. Hitachi's third-generation of multifunction optical drive technology also is read/write compatible with 2 GB, 1.3 GB and 650 MB magneto-optic media.

The new drives, available in December in sample quantities and in production quantities in the first quarter of 1996, provide high-capacity, removable optical storage capability for a wide range of workstation and personal computer applications, including computer-aided design and engineering, database back-up and restore, geographic and medical imaging, electronic publishing and pre-press applications.

Optical libraries based on the new drives, with capacities from 125 GB to 501 GB, are ideally suited for hierarchical storage management and multimedia (combined image and code data) database applications in client/server and networked PC environments.

Hitachi's 172 Series magneto-optic drives utilize proven technologies, first implemented in the company's previous generation 2 GB drives, including Zoned Constant Angular Velocity (ZCAV), mark-edge recording and 1-7 encoding, as well as a new 685 nm wavelength laser for data recording.

This combination of proven technologies and investment in engineering over three generations of MO drive technology provides high reliability (80,000 hour MTBF rating) and assured performance, as summarized below. -0-

OD172/OL-F172 Multifunction Optical Drive: Summary Specifications

Access Time
 Average Total Access 49 ms
 Average Seek 39 ms
 Average Latency 10 ms

Data Transfer Rate (maximum user data)
 Reads Up to 3.37 MB/sec.
 Writes (one pass write) Up to 3.37 MB/sec.

Disk Load/Unload (includes spin-up/down time)
 Manual Drive (rated for 50,000 cycles) 7.5 sec./4.5 sec.
 Library Drive (rated for 600,000 cycles) 5 sec./2.5 sec.

Formatted Capacity
 1024 Byte/sector disk 2.6 GB
 512 Byte/sector disk 2.3 GB

Hitachi has implemented one pass write capability to improve performance. The drives also utilize the SCSI-2 interface and have a 1 MB buffer memory to support the demanding performance requirements of graphics-oriented and network storage applications.

In particular, this speeds access to complex databases (such as still and moving images with computer data) throughout a network.

Reseller, OEM Targets

Hitachi America will market the new drives through its in-place U.S. distribution network, and through direct sales to large OEM customers. The half-height form factor OD172, suitable for installation into desktop computers and workstations, also will be supported for sale to manufacturers of optical libraries.

The OU172 model of the drive is designed for use as a stand-alone unit, complete with self-contained power supply and power cable.

The full-height OL-F172 library drive will be integrated into two optical library storage systems for sale to resellers and OEMs. These libraries feature average disk to drive mount times of 8.0 seconds or less.

The OL172-48 supports one to four drives and 48 to 60 optical disks. The OL172-180 has equivalent drive capacity and supports 180 to 192 optical disks. (Note: with maximum disk loading, each library can support up to two drives.)

Additionally, up to three libraries can be daisy-chain connected to provide total capacity of up to 1.5 terabytes (using the OL172-180) operating through a single SCSI-2 controller.

Pricing, Availability

Sample quantities of the drive family will be available in December, for evaluation by qualified resellers and OEMs. Pricing for individual sample units is $2,600 for the half-height, drive-bay installable OD172 and $3,100 for the stand-alone OU172.

Evaluation units of the optical library systems will be available in the first quarter of 1996.

Suppliers of 2.6 GB capacity media, conforming to the proposed ISO standard and tested on the new Hitachi drives, include Maxell Corp., Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., Sony Corp., Tosoh Corp. and 3M.

With the introduction of the 172 Series drives, Hitachi's 5.25-inch multifunction optical product line is now synchronized with the roadmap for standard technology development established by OSTA (Optical Storage Technology Association) and supported by international standards bodies.

Hitachi expects to continue its worldwide leadership in optical storage technologies in conformance with standards set by these informal and officially sanctioned organizations.

Through its Peripheral Sales and Marketing Dept. (PSM), the computer division of Hitachi America Ltd. sells high-capacity small disk drives for the desktop, portable computer and workstation markets, as well as optical disk drives and optical jukeboxes.

The PSM Dept. markets its storage products to OEMs in the United States through a direct sales force and to resellers and VARs through a network of authorized high-tech distributors.

In Canada, Hitachi (Canadian) Ltd. carries the full line of products offered by the PSM Dept. The computer division also sells proprietary Hitachi M Series mainframes and related system software, and Object-Oriented software for the UNIX workstation and personal computer markets through its Information Systems Sales Marketing Dept. -0-

NOTE TO EDITORS: Hitachi America Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd., Japan, markets and manufactures electrical and electronic goods and provides industrial equipment and services throughout the United States.

Hitachi Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, is the world's leading electronics company, with fiscal 1994 consolidated sales (ending March 31, 1995) of $85 billion.

The company markets and manufactures a wide range of products, including computers, semiconductors, consumer products and power and industrial equipment.

CONTACT: Hitachi America Ltd.

Ken Edoff, 415/244-7649

Cynthia Huey, 415/244-7846


FS Communications

Matthew Schmidt, 415/691-1488
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 1, 1995
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