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February 11, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:04pm


By CBR Staff Writer

The Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co said last summer that announcements of support for its LS-120 120Mb laser servo floptical replacement for the 1.4Mb floppy drive would be imminent (CI No 2,977), and sure enough Siemens Nixdorf Informationssyteme AG and Fujitsu ICL Computers Ltd have announced they will integrate the drives in their personal computer lines. Siemens Nixdorf will integrate the LS-120 in its Scenic Pro commercial line and its Scenic Celsius workstation from April, and Fujitsu ICL plans to provide the drives across its professional ErgoPro range throughout Europe in the next couple of months. Both the Scenic range and the ErgoPro are aimed at business users requiring high speed large capacity storage options for multimedia applications. Siemens’ product marketing manager for professional personal computers said conventional floppy disks are reaching their limits, particularly as graphic and image files become more prevalent. One of the benefits of the LS-120 is the fact that it is backwards compatible, and will read a standard 1.4Mb floppy. It is this feature that is particularly seen to challenge Iomega Corp’s Zip drive, which will not read the old floppy disks. Iomega’s response is that the Zip drive is around half the price of the LS-120, and that at the competitive price-sensitive edge of the personal computer market it believes its technology will win out. In fact it says even Compaq Computer Corp, one of the co-developers and first adopters of the LS-120 technology (CI No 2,938), is incorporating the Zip in one of its lower end lines. Mitsubishi Electric Corp recently announced an upturn in production of the LS-120 drives, (CI No 3,089) and says it can now supply 500,000 per month to the OEM market. OR Technology Inc, another co-founder of the technology, has also announced a strategic alliance with China’s Kaifa Group Ltd to mass produce an ultra slim-line LS-129 drive for notebook computers this year.

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